He ain’t heavy, he’s my Jimmy!

Like millions of people, losing weight was firmly on my mind in January, but, thankfully, in my case it was not down to Christmas excess.

Not surprisingly, like everything in my world, it related to waste and how to solve the issue of heavy bins.

Wait a minute. Aren’t bins supposed to be heavy, I hear you say?

Well, the answer is not really and certainly not when it can have a detrimental effect on the health and safety of our collection teams.

So, one of the things I did in January was to spend a day driving round Harrogate with Jimmy and Jimmy (yes, they are so good they named them twice), just two of the people who work on our commercial waste collection rounds.

Shadowing is invaluable to me as I can see firsthand any potential issues, identify bins which were too heavy and we could then follow up with customers to offer advice on how they could lighten the load, so to speak!

It also enabled me to view some sites where our customers are reporting access issues to us so we can work together and get their waste collected.

As an example, the bins of our pub and restaurant customers can often be too heavy because they put everything into one bin, including glass, which is obviously in abundance due to the nature of their business. In their case, it is often better to have a separate bin for their glass and it can even end up saving them money.

I found my day out with Jimmy and Jimmy very useful. Nobody knows our collection routes like they do so they provide a useful sounding board which can help me in my job.

Plus, it also enabled me to put by Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) qualification to good use. Yorwaste’s mantra is ‘no job is too important that it can’t be done safely’, so with the help of people like Jimmy and Jimmy we can ensure that we protect both our staff and customers.

I mentioned in my last blog that we had started to implement one of our new contracts, with Broadacres Housing Association, and this continued in January. I spoke to their cleaning team about recycling as ultimately, they are the ones who need to ensure that at the end of each day, that waste disposed of by staff has been put in the appropriate containers.

We are also pleased to have taken on another big customer, working in food production, so I had various meetings to discuss the approach we are taking to meet their exact requirements.

I also carried out bin audits on behalf of York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, University of York and the Swinton Park Estate, so it’s fair to conclude that my month was very much bin-related!

See you in February!

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