Emterra Environmental employees have a “dirty job”, as Niagara newspaper headlines in a recent feature. Waste collection is challenging work that takes dedication; however, community members are key to making the job easier and safer.
Online PR News – 27-October-2012 – Burlington, Ontario – Emterra Environmental has a dedicated team of employees across Niagara Region, the southern Ontario area for which it handles garbage, recycling and organics collection. The Welland Tribune recently caught up with team members Tim Beaton and Tory Whelan on the road and featured them in an article titled, “It’s a Dirty Job, But Someone Has to Do It”. The work is very physically demanding and as Beaton comments, “…you don’t need a gym membership” when you’re doing this job.
“Our drivers, Tim and Troy, are part of Emterra’s dedicated group of employees throughout the country. They are a clear example of how – when residents of a community come together in understanding their role - we can serve that community more efficiently and safely.” says Paulina Leung, Manager of Business Development for Emterra Group.
What people often don’t think about, as the article points out, is that the work can be dangerous in many ways. Waste collection happens in virtually all weather, on blistery winter days and through extreme heat. Operators must be well prepared for the elements. Also, “the yellow jacket’s can get awful, you get stung all the time”, says Beaton. Perhaps most surprising, though, is that route operators often get cut from the contents of what residents put in the garbage bags, often requiring stitches. Everything from knives to broken glass that is not adequately shielded within the bag proves dangerous. The pace of collection has to be swift, and it is nearly impossible to handle each bag with extreme caution.
Also, enforcing Niagara Region’s bag limits is sometimes difficult, as any garbage put out over the limit and not properly tagged will not be removed. In some cases, residents can get upset and “vent” on the drivers, who are doing their job.
What can residents do to help Tim and Troy and waste collectors across the country remain safe and healthy in the workplace? Work together as a team and realize that it is a tough and sometimes dangerous job – as most residents already do.
Indeed, safe waste collection is a community effort and Emterra team members are virtually always local residents, too. Getting a little help from neighbouring residents on collection day is a great way to contribute to a safe pickup for those carrying out this “dirty job”.