Public reminded to treat recycling centre staff with ‘courtesy’

Recycling Centre

Posted on: 2 March 2021

Users of Devon’s recycling centres are being reminded to treat staff with ‘courtesy and respect’ following reports that key workers at more than one site were verbally abused and threatened over the weekend.

Over the weekend and continuing into this week Devon County Council’s (DCC) Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) are experiencing unprecedented demand, in part due to the good weather.

However, to ensure that sites are not too crowded and to allow social distancing, the number of offloading spaces in each site remains limited.

This has led to delays, long queues and in some cases short tempers – with multiple incidents of aggressive or abusive behaviour towards staff.

DCC is warning the public that sites could be closed temporarily if queues start causing a safety hazard on the public highway, and users may be asked to come back later.

And sites may restrict further vehicles from joining the queue towards the end of the day, to enable those already in the queue to be served before the site closes.

To alleviate the congestion the public are asked to delay disposing of waste for a week or so, and if you only have small amount of waste or recyclables, then use your kerbside waste collection services.

Councillor Andrea Davis, DCCs Cabinet Member for Infrastructure,

Photo of Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis

Development and Waste said: “The queues are the combination of nice weather leading to extra demand and social distancing measures which have reduced our capacity.

“I understand people are frustrated, but it doesn’t justify aggressive and abusive behaviour towards site staff who are just trying to do their jobs and keep everyone safe.

“If you must use our recycling facilities during lockdown, please be patient. Site staff are critical workers who have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic so please, they deserve courtesy and respect. Be nice.”

Posted in: Environment