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Today I've gained an insight into the issues our refuse collectors face when emptying household bins and it's made me realise that my support of fortnightly collections has been misguided.
I stayed overnight at my daughter's. She lives in a mews-style development with parking bays in the middle. Bin lorries can't be driven in so collectors have to drag bins quite a way along narrow pathways for emptying. Thanks to shrubbery, it's difficult to see anything that's lower than waist-height and this morning bins weren't collected along the back where my daughter lives. With fortnightly collections and her bin full of cat litter from an unexpected kindle of kittens, it couldn't go another two weeks, so I grabbed it and wheeled it in search of the bin lorry. What a job! Just tipping the thing was tough enough but to have to manoeuvre it along pathways - some of which were blocked by badly parked cars - was really difficult. It was heavy, too.
In checking neighbours' bins to see if they'd been emptied, I encountered some stuffed so full that the lids wouldn't shut; one had maggots not only inside but crawling around the rim. Today's lesson has made me rethink the whole idea of collection schedules...
With fortnightly collections, bins left out for emptying are often overflowing, potentially smelly, may have maggots and are likely to be heavy. Likewise recycling bins and boxes. These will be packed to the brim with food cartons and drinks cans that may not have been washed properly. Although these are less likely to have maggots, they will attract flies - as well as wasps in Summer.
The extra difficulties encountered by those making fortnightly collections means the round takes a lot longer, the job is more unpleasant and there will be health and hygiene issues - and fly-tipping - when bins are deliberately (and quite rightly, in my opinion) not collected because they're overflowing or too heavy. I can picture the detrimental effect this will have on the operations that follow, such as those carried out at civic amenity tips and recycling centres.
Weekly collections eliminate these problems, but require more fuel and man-hours. I'm sure councils will have carried out analyses of the costs and am interested to learn why some have continued - or reverted to - weekly collections while others are sticking to fortnightly, and others, I believe, still collect only once every three weeks. Does the local environment, politics or staffing come into it, I wonder?
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This Week's News
I was interested to read the article in Cleanzine on a proposed Toilet Hygiene Rating Scheme, and to follow the subsequent correspondence on the matter. The European Tissue Symposium (ETS) sees this as an interesting initiative.
A certified scheme, with a certificate or badge that is recognised by owners and operators as well as the general public, could offer important guidance as to the hygiene levels required to maintain optimal health & safety - and, of course, it is particularly timely in these times of pandemic.
Investors have rewarded the commercial success of Spotta's smart pest systems with a $1.18 million seed funding round. This investment reflects Spotta's huge potential in global markets in hospitality, farming, forestry and other sectors to solve the £320 bn ($400 bn) problem of insect pests while dramatically reducing pesticide use.
Based in Cambridge, England, Spotta commercialised its first product in 2019 and has been recognised by US-based Fast Company magazine as one of the AI and Data World Changing Ideas for 2020.
Commercial cleaning, facilities management and support services provider Cleanology has proved its talent for innovation, ethics and environment by beating other companies to the shortlist for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Judges, including Cath Kidston and Go Compare founder Hayley Parsons, chose Cleanology from others in the London and East of England region.
Three talented and hard-working young people - Sidney Beckles, Garry Richford and Anya Squires - have been named as the recipients of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association's 2020 Undergraduate Bursaries.
Sidney, whose mother works for Comax UK Healthline, is motivated and ambitious. She volunteered at a care home whilst taking her A' levels, valuing the opportunity to engage with a range of different people. Going to King's College London to study Philosophy, she intends to use the bursary to fund extracurricular learning and development opportunities.
The World Health Organisation reports that Coronavirus can spread in an infected person's urine. Referred to as 'viral shedding', this means that if traces of contaminated urine become aerosolised and inhaled, the disease can infect others in the washroom.
The setting in which this is most likely to happen is around urinals.
Following the announcement on 22nd July 2020 regarding the closer integration of the Waste Management Industry Training & Advisory Board (WAMITAB) into the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), Chris James has stepped down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of WAMITAB.
Since 2017, WAMITAB has been part of the CIWM Group, whose chief executive Sarah Poulter will be taking forward the integration plan for the two organisations in consultation with both trustee boards.
Prochem distributor and home-services company, FantasticServices, has been rallying to support NHS staff nationwide by donating two hours of cleaning free of charge and giving preferential rates to all frontline NHS workers. Now, the company is looking to expand this offer to all key workers in the UK.
"We all owe an enormous debt to the selfless NHS workers who are saving lives as they fight daily against Covid-19," says Fantastic Services CEO and co-founder Anton Skarlatov (pictured left).
UMF Corporation, which researches and develops high-performance products, programs and training for infection prevention and commercial cleaning, has announced its partnership with Universal Fiber Systems, the US manufacturer of synthetic filament-based and specialty fibres.
Micrillon is a rechargeable, broad spectrum, antimicrobial polymer additive that can be incorporated into fibres, as well as films, injection moulded and extruded plastics, and charged with chlorine molecules.
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Recent UK News
Thank you for drawing attention to the Government's move to make Changing Places toilets compulsory in new buildings.
We've been following your articles and in particular Susan Cunningham's letter, with interest, over public toilet safety now that the UK lockdown is starting to ease.
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