Thank you to our Materials Reclamation Facility staff
Published: 6 April 2020
In his regular feature, Denis the Dustcart talks about our amazing frontline staff in our Materials Reclamation Facility.
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It’s wonderful to see the appreciation being shown to our bin crews and all the collection crews across the country. What they’re doing to help keep life as normal as possible for us all cannot be overemphasised.
But I’d also like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the amazing frontline staff in our Materials Reclamation Facility here in Exeter and in MRFs everywhere, who are no less vital in the effort to keep waste collections going and are in just as challenging a position.
Recycling has never been more crucially important. Without it, the country may run short of packaging for essential medical and food supplies. It’s the MRF workers, as much as the bin crews, who make sure we can all carry on recycling.
They sort the recycling – much of it by hand – that the bin crews collect from our houses. They are helping to keep the economy moving, helping the environment, helping to keep each other going through this intense, demanding period in all our lives.
Every one of them is a key worker whose job has never been more vital and whose working life, with so many of Exeter’s residents at home and therefore generating a lot of recycling, has never been busier.
There are the pickers, who stand on the conveyor line picking off the recycling as it whizzes along; who must identify the different materials immediately and sort them accordingly; who must remain alert at all times and stop the line to protect their colleagues when they see a needle or other dangerous item; who must clear the line of any contaminants, some of which are really quite nasty.
There are the ‘shop floor’ workers, who manage and empty the baling machinery, clear the line of any dangerous materials and keep the whole area clear for deliveries and collections; who drive the forklifts, supervise transportation and load the lorries with bales; who deliver contaminants to the Energy from Waste Facility and deliver first-aid on-site.
There are the digger drivers, who are first to the recycling pile tipped by the collection crews, removing any contamination they see and then scooping the rest onto the conveyor line; who fill the trucks that come to collect the glass and paper and keep the yard outside clean, clear and safe.
There are the weighbridge staff, who weigh in the city’s waste trucks before they tip their loads at the MRF; who weigh the lorries that collect Exeter’s recycling for delivery to companies that turn it into new products and packaging; who manage the glass piles and the city’s vast domestic and commercial wheelie bin stocks.
And there are all those that work so hard to support these staff and who help to keep the MRF, the vehicles and the service moving.
These people do this day in, day out…but it just got a whole lot more challenging.
All our waste collection and sorting staff are essential in the effort to keep society rolling, and I’d like to thank every one of them for what they do – especially during these extraordinary and difficult times.