Somerset bin crews facing 'rude' residents as they start at 5.30am to avoid heat

Waste collection crews in Somerset have reported 'rude' comments from residents as they begin their rounds early to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

The Somerset Waste Partnership has said teams could be out from 5.30am to ensure rounds are completed while avoiding the extreme heat later in the day.

However, one crew has told ITV News it has faced anger from residents because it was collecting in the early hours. Most people have been kind, however, offering drinks and ice creams to the workers.

Tom Foster is a recycling truck driver. His team's round in Wellington today started an hour earlier than normal - he arrived at work at 4.45am.

He said the heat was difficult to work in.

"We’ve been suffering with it but we come in early and get on with it," he said.

"My crew’s really good and they get on with it and then we get to go home once we’ve helped out another crew."

Residents have been asked to get their waste out the night before collections at the start of this week and show understanding for any early morning noise from what is a physical job.

Tom said: "My trusty crew walk about 12 miles each per day.

"We’ve had a lot of people being really nice and coming out, giving us ice creams and things like that, which we really enjoy and appreciate, but sadly there are a few that have been coming out being rude to us for being early.

"Obviously it’s only this time of year we’re doing it because we’re trying to get out of the heat of the day. So it is good, but it’s let down by a few."

Somerset County Councillor Sarah Dyke, who is chair of Somerset Waste Board, said: “The crews do a great job, but it’s going to be tough going at the start of the week.

“They will be doing their very best to stay on track and the early starts should help. If there are delays we would ask for your understanding and they will be back as soon as possible.

“We’re seeing lots of examples of crews being given cold drinks and ice lollies on their rounds. That’s a very kind gesture that really helps and is hugely appreciated.”

Recycling collectors in Somerset walk over ten miles during every round

Crews are being sent to work with hats, suncream, and refillable water bottles. With more than 70,000 collections to make each day, they are also being encouraged to take short breaks in the shade if needed.

With such hot temperatures people are being asked to do what they can to speed up rounds. By crushing cans, squeezing bottles and flattening cardboard, space can be saved on the trucks. Crews are also asking people to make sure the right recyclables are in the right boxes and bags.

Tom Foster said: "That would get us out of the sun a lot faster because, as you can imagine, if you stop at a house and it’s mixed if you spend ten minutes on one house you’re going to be out all day."

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