Waste sector crews going ‘the extra mile’ during COVID-19 – new report
Waste sector crews going 'the extra mile' during COVID-19 - new report
A new report on the UK resources and waste sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic has praised “people and the value of collaborative working.”
The UK Waste Sector COVID-19 Response and Resilience Report by CIWM (The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) and the University of Exeter includes feedback from government departments, environmental regulators, and local councils, as well as private firms and Health & Safety experts.
CIWM President Trevor Nicoll said: “Stakeholders felt that the sector had shown a good level of resilience, although it was recognised that certain parts have and will continue to see significant disruption.
“People and the value of the collaborative working that has taken place was highlighted throughout as one of the real positives of 2020, from collection crews going the extra mile to maintain vital and valued services to cross-sector information sharing and contingency planning at the highest strategic level.
“The pandemic is far from over, though, and this research was carried out during October 2020 and provides a snapshot in time in what continues to be a fluid and uncertain situation.
” It is not designed to be comprehensive but is based on feedback from people working across the sector who spared us their time to reflect on the first six months of the pandemic and think about what the sector needs to be more resilient in the future. We hope it will be a useful starting point and will stimulate further reflection and learning in the months ahead as we continue to respond to the pandemic.”
The report also forms part of a larger COVID-19 Waste Project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UKRI’s Rapid Response to COVID-19.
This project investigates how the sector responds to the pandemic across all UK countries and includes the analysis of operations, guidance, policy, communications, and cross-sector collaboration. It aims to generate data, resources, and a more detailed report (in June 2021) that assesses the impacts of COVID-19 and informs plans to build future resilience.
Dr Angeliki Balayannis from the University of Exeter added: “The resources and the waste sector is one of the most important, and yet taken for granted, sectors within the UK economy. COVID-19 has highlighted the pivotal role of the workers who maintain this critical infrastructure.
“This report represents the capacity of the sector to assemble around common concerns, not only to respond to COVID-19 but also to imagine what a more resilient and sustainable sector might entail in the future.”
You can read the full report here.
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