We helped our customers move quickly to meet the ongoing demands of keeping people safe following the spread of Covid-19. Our key workers continued with essential services, including waste collections and maintaining vital electricity and heat supply to hospitals and industry. To do so, we sought advice from a number of experts, including the Chief Medical Officer and scientists at the University of Central London.
Customers benefited from our disinfection service tailored to their specific needs and in line with UK public health guidelines. We also expanded our energy recovery facilities to help safely dispose of more clinical waste.
We heard that our customer, the high street pharmacy Boots, was struggling to source personal protection equipment because its supplier was committed to supplying the NHS during the Covid-19 lockdown. We stepped in by sharing our procurement network to make sure Boots staff and customers were kept safe.
We recently partnered with MyWaste to offer mask recycling as part of our PROCYCLE service for difficult-to-recycle items. Disposable masks are predominantly woven polypropylene. They can be PROCYCLE safely collected and processed into hoarding boards, which can then be turned into new products such as outdoor bins.
We listened to our customers’ changing needs during the pandemic and acted quickly. For example, some businesses needed to put collections on hold to save costs and move to a slimmed down service. They could use our Customer Hub to access everything from invoices to service schedules.
Our water treatment plants require 24/7 operation. We introduced Optimised Operations and Maintenance (VOOM) at all of our sites. This introduced measures such as staggering break times, implementing remote shift handovers and using video conferencing. This has kept our people safe while improving the reliability and performance of our sites, reducing operation and maintenance costs and saving more energy.
We were instrumental in the safe reopening of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) nationally, helping protect staff and visitors by producing guidance for site operators, and clear messaging for the public, on everything from social distancing to implementing an effective cleaning regime.
In Birmingham, an online booking system increased recycling rates by 51% with queues disappearing overnight.