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Assault on bin operative

Recycling operative collecting a grey bin
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Police are investigating a physical attack on a recycling and waste crew member that took place last week in Letchworth.

A member of Urbaser, a contractor which carries out bin collections on behalf of North Herts Council, was punched in the head by a resident over a contaminated bin. The man had also thrown his own bags of rubbish in the back of the recycling vehicle against advice and being told it would contaminate the whole recycling load.

In another incident the same day, a member of the council’scustomer service team was verbally abused on the phone. 

Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Leader of North Herts Council, said: "Unfortunately some of the staff and contractors in our shared waste service were victims of physical and verbal abuse last week. This is not acceptable. All our staff and contractors play a vital role in delivering our services and I’m proud of the work they do. They deserve to be treated with the same kindness and respect that anyone else should when they’re at work. They should not have to deal with the physical and emotional cost that abuse brings with it.

“We’re asking everyone to remember that our employees, contractors and councillors are people too, and where we see abuse and other unacceptable behaviour taking place, we will take action. Thank you for your support."

We are proud of the diligence of our contractors in trying to manage contamination in our recycling collections, which can result in a whole load being rejected and sent to landfill, a waste of everyone’s time and money.

The bin operative also hit his head as a result of the assault and was taken to hospital. He is now recovering at home. The round was suspended and the remaining bins were collected the following day.

We are sharing CCTV with the police to help with their investigation and hope the offender is brought to justice. Any abuse towards our staff, whether verbal or physical, will not be tolerated.

More information: Bins & recycling

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