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I’ve always reckoned that cleaning’s a thankless task, which is one of the reasons that I not only acknowledge any cleaners I encounter as they go about their work, but chat to them if I can and thank them for the great job they’re doing. My children – now grown – do the same, since this is how they’ve been raised, and I hope that this simple act of goodwill has spread to their friends as well as my own. Of course, I’m not claiming ownership of this particular encounter, but yesterday’s visit from Anne, the Princess Royal, must certainly have made something of a special day for those on duty at the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service Centre. Visiting the Centre along with the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, the Princess spoke to refuse loaders and bin lorry drivers who have continued to ensure that waste and recycling has been collected despite pressures from the pandemic, which has created excessive amounts of recycling and waste, thanks to people spending more time at home.
The Princess was shown the new electric bin lorry, the Dennis Eagle 'eCollect', the first electric bin lorry to be operating in Cambridgeshire and one that marks the start of a gradual drive to replace all the collection lorries with electric or hydrogen versions.
The Cambridge Independent's report on the visit said that the Princess was interested in how the team recycle at home, and whether their work has influenced them to recycle more than they used to. Importantly, Cambridge mayor Cllr Russ McPherson, thanked the residents for being incredibly supportive during the past 12 months. "It has been fantastic to see the thank you notes and pictures sent in to our waste crews," he said. "With each loader walking the equivalent of a half-marathon every single day, they do a tough job in normal times. The past year has shown just how much we rely on them."
I sincerely hope that once this pandemic has truly lost its impetus, we, the general public, don't lose the urge to thank the frontline workers for looking after us so well. (Picture: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk)
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25th March 2021