Debbie Swindells

Debbie Swindells swapped baking for a career in waste, and 11 years later she hasn’t looked back.

Debbie is our Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Senior Supervisor, a new role she took on in August this year.

That means she is responsible for managing the three HWRC Supervisors who oversee the day-to-day running of the 22 HWRC’s we manage and operate on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and City of York council.

But Debbie’s Yorwaste story starts in 2007. That’s when she left her job as a manager for a bakery company to become a weighbridge operative at our Thornton-le-Dale landfill site.

Debbie says: “At that time, my son & Daughter had both left home and I was unhappy in my current job, so change in career appealed even though I knew nothing about Yorwaste or the waste management industry.”

Debbie was quickly promoted to supervise the running of the landfill site and household waste recycling centre at Thornton-le-Dale. When the landfill closed in 2010, she took on responsibility for a further three sites.

When Yorwaste began operating the HWRC’s in 2017, Debbie became responsible for six sites until August this year. With Debbie’s promotion to Senior Supervisor her new role means all 20 NYCC & 2 CYC sites now come under her supervision.

She adds: “It’s a very varied role and no day is the same; one minute I can be doing admin or checking on sites and the next I am in the car going to assist at one of the sites.

“When you consider we have sites that stretch from Scarborough in the east to Settle in the west and Stokesley in the north to Tadcaster in the south that can mean a lot of driving, but I love it.”

Debbie has seen lots of changes at Yorwaste and the waste management industry over the last 11 years.

She says: “The biggest change has been in health and safety, with Yorwaste now leading the way in the sector when it comes to the health and welfare of its staff and customers.

“There are also now more women working in the waste industry. It’s certainly no longer a man’s world!”

In her spare time, Debbie enjoys travelling and spending time with her family, which includes five grandchildren.

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