May 27, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Call to respect waste collection crews as impatient motorists put essential workers at risk

Shocking camera footage from rubbish and recycling vehicles in Cornwall shows the inconsiderate, impatient, and downright dangerous actions that put hardworking rubbish and recycling collection crews and other road users at risk. 

Footage shows crews working hard to keep the collection vehicles moving as quickly as possible whilst providing these essential services, but for some impatient motorists that is not enough. In one example, multiple vehicles are seen mounting the pavement and speeding along the verge with one almost colliding with another before driving off. One motorist is in such a hurry that they don’t even negotiate a roundabout the correct way. 

In another, a car doesn’t even pause before mounting the pavement to get past the collection lorry, even with pedestrians clearly visible on the opposite pavement. The actions of these motorists could have resulted in death or serious injury to these key workers and the members of the public. 

Carol Mould, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods said: “I could hardly believe what I was seeing! For the sake of a few moments delay, people seem to be willing to not only put the lives of waste crews in danger, but also the lives of pedestrians and other road users. We all need to work together to keep our communities safe.” 

“Please respect our waste crews who were rightly recognised and applauded as ‘hi vis heroes’ for keeping such an essential service running during the pandemic.”  

Biffa, who deliver the rubbish and recycling collection services on behalf of the Council said: “We do our best to keep the collection trucks moving as quickly as possible, we are aware that everyone has somewhere they need to be, but it is disheartening, and sometimes quite threatening, to see other road users being so impatient. Crews sometimes get verbal abuse too which is upsetting when they are just trying to provide an essential service to every household in Cornwall.” 

The collection of waste and recycling is a huge operation with individual vehicles and crews collecting from up to 2,500 properties a day.  

Vehicles and crews work hard to try not to hold up traffic and work as quickly as possible to clear the road. There are rules and restrictions on the collection teams to protect the crew and the public. Traffic volume, the time of year, inconsiderate parking and roadworks can all have an impact on where they can safely pull in. 

Story posted 10 February 2022