In the COVID-19 crisis, new heroes have emerged. The healthcare workers fighting the pandemic in the front line and saving lives have been (literally) applauded by the British. Supermarket cashiers, lorry drivers, transport maintenance engineers, food delivery drivers, cleaners, carers, bus drivers and many others have been finally recognised for their essential work for the functioning of our society. And now, workers in the waste sector too. Rebecca Pow MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DEFRA, has written a thank you letter for the workers of the waste and recycling sector to recognise their work “to protect the environment, local amenity and people’s health”.
She wrote, “workers in the waste sector may not get the headlines that other workers do during this challenging time, but I want you to know that you are not forgotten within Government”. The UK was put into lockdown on 23 March in an unprecedented step to attempt to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. However, key workers have had to continue to deliver their services to society putting their own safety at risk. The AD industry provides essential services such as energy generation and waste management. AD therefore falls into the Government’s definition of being a ‘Critical Sector’, with its site operating staff classified as Key Workers. The letter is a recognition of the work that the sector has continued to deliver and of the challenges that it is facing.
In the letter, the Minister praises “the cooperative spirit” that the industry has demonstrated, both within the sector and with Government, feeding back key information on the impact of the pandemic. She also flags useful guidance that the Government is providing to the sector to work in safety and for local authorities to prioritise waste services, with food waste collections being identified as an important service.
You can read the letter here. We at ADBA would like to echo the Minister’s letter and thank you all for your essential work.