Mighty Crews, Mean Mighty Recyclers!

Written by on 6th October 2020

The mighty refuse and recycling collection crews in Rhondda Cynon Taf have been showing off their super powers over the last few months, as they brave all weathers and continue their fight against waste – despite the added challenges that Covid-19 has brought to us all.

The Council boasts a strong team of over 160 collection staff, who all go above and beyond to ensure that RCT’s mighty recycling residents get their items collected. The team visit over 110,000 households every week, often walking thousands of miles and lifting tonnes of recycling bags throughout their busy shifts.

To highlight the mighty hard work that the crews have been continuing to do throughout the pandemic, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is proud to be supporting the Welsh Government funded, national, all Wales campaign ‘BE Mighty’ which aims to encourage us all to stand tall and recycle as much as we can. The campaign also looks to celebrate the collection crews and those who have been choosing to recycle throughout the last few months – no matter what!

Two of the mighty crew members that were chosen to take prime position on the side of the Council’s recycling and refuse fleet are Michael Rees and Garry Meredith – big, bold, mighty and coming to a street near you!

Michael Rees, aged 33 from Pen-y-graig has been part of the mighty RCT Streetcare crew for over 14 years and really enjoys his role because he gets to know people when he’s out on his rounds and has been grateful for all the support that residents have shown the crews during this time, having worked throughout the period. Michael recycles as much as he can and the most recycled items in his household are glass jars. His tip for RCT residents is to remember to rinse your recyclables and to please park sensibly so that we can get through to collect your waste.

Garry Meredith, aged 27 from Blaenrhondda has been part of the mighty crew for five and half years. Garry believes that recycling is the way forward and is asking RCT

residents to keep up the good work and to remember to clean their recycling and ensure that only recyclables are placed in to the clear bags – don’t waste your recycling efforts by it being contaminated. Garry enjoys his role and feels that he is making a difference. The most recycled item in his household is plastic packaging. Garry’s partner recently had a shock when she was sitting in the local café and she saw Garry on the lorry passing by!

RCT residents have been mighty recyclers for many years and since April they have helped to recycle over 27,100 tonnes of materials, which includes almost 5,600 tonnes of food waste. That’s the equivalent weight of 846 fully loaded recycling lorries.

Recycling is now the norm in Wales, with over 92% of us recycling regularly as part of our daily routine. We’re recycling fruit and vegetable peelings, eggshells, tea bags and plate scrapings in our food caddies; recycling from every room including the bathroom and bedroom, and recycling tricky items such as empty aerosols.

However, almost half of us could still be recycling a little bit more, so if we’re to help Wales reach the coveted top spot we need to, stop, think and recycle that extra item when we can.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure & Heritage Services, said: “I would like to thank our mighty crews for all that they do, braving all weathers and getting up while some people are still sleeping to ensure that our waste is collected. The dedicated team have continued to work throughout the pandemic and have done a great job – it’s great to see their mighty work celebrated in this way.

“I would also like to say a huge well done to all our mighty recycling RCT residents, for continuing to recycle throughout this period, despite these unprecedented challenges, their efforts have been fantastic. If we keep this up, we will hit the Welsh Governments target of 70% well before 2024/25 – well done RCT!

“As a Council we do our best to make recycling easy and accessible for all – with online recycling bag requests and deliveries, and a simple one clear bag system for dry recyclables. All of our Community Recycling Centres have re-opened to the public and I’d also like to thank the mighty staff across our recycling and waste service for their continued efforts throughout this year. Keep up the good work.”

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn, said:

“I am really pleased to see Rhondda Cynon Taf Council wholeheartedly supporting our Be Mighty recycling campaign and I hope residents get behind the campaign too. Over the last few months, as we have spent more time at home, we have become more aware of the waste we produce. It’s important that we all recycle everything we can – from packaging from online orders, to home schooling supplies and food waste.

Wales may be small but when it comes to recycling, we punch above our weight. Our efforts on recycling have become renowned across the World and here in Wales it has become part of our culture. We’ve become a leader in recycling by everyone playing their part.

I would like to thank the collection crew in RCT and the crews across Wales for their mighty hard work throughout the last few months.”

Recycling bags are available at key essential shopping outlets or they can be ordered for delivery online at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/bags. Kerbside collections have continued throughout and where there is a delay, residents are advised to leave their items at their collection point and they will be collected as soon as possible.

The Council now needs your help to ensure that we keep recycling to the same standards that we always have and show off our mighty skills – many residents are having a final clear out and may find a few items that they need to get rid of. BUT if it’s not recyclable at the kerbside, please take these items to your nearest Community Recycling Centre.

ALL Community Recycling Centres are open 7 days a week, from 8am-7.30pm and now allow vans and trailers alongside cars to dispose of items. A number of strict guidelines are in place for site visitors and these are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future – more details are available at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/CRCsRules. Both re-use shops ‘The-Shed’ based at Treherbert and Llantrisant Recycling Centres have also re-opened.

Tissues, wipes – cleaning or personals, face masks, gloves or any other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be placed in your black bag waste – if anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus these items should also be double bagged and put out after 72 hours.

Residents are reminded that they can put out an unlimited number of clear recycling bags, but black bag/wheelie bin waste is limited to 2 black bags or 1 wheelie bin (lid must close).

For more details and tips on recycling in RCT, visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/recycling or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about the mighty mission visit www.walesrecycles.org.uk, look out for the ads on TV, on buses and billboards and social media across Wales or join the conversation using the hashtag #mightyrecyclers

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