Officially known as recycling crew eight (or RC8), the team comprises driver Dave Murray and operatives Nic Chappel and Lewis Elvin, and their phenomenal work during this spring’s floods in Purley and Kenley saw them deliver unbroken service to residents throughout the crisis.
Their dedication to duty was marked last week (1 May) at the Awards for Excellence in Waste Management and Recycling in Central London.
RC8 has an excellent record in delivering consistently superb customer care, service delivery performance and an outstanding health and safety record, making it Croydon’s top performing crew, winning the ‘crew of the month’ title four times in the past year.
And that level of service has now received national recognition thanks to the way the team continued to serve residents during the most testing of conditions.
The crew, together for five years, is responsible for a large number of collections within roads that were among the worst affected by the flooding. To ensure unbroken service to residents, the team members:
for about six weeks amended their start times and worked significantly longer hours while changing collection arrangements on the hoof, within the working day;
re-routed their entire collection round within the affected areas, the required detour to those areas often incurring delays of more than an hour;
worked closely with the police to gain access to affected areas in an appropriate and safe manner; and
made significant changes to operating practices in order to complete collections, including carrying boxes of recyclates in roads made unpassable for their vehicle or wheeled bins.
Paul Southall, Veolia's contract manager in Croydon, said: "This is a fantastic achievement and the crew really deserve this award as they have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and are a credit to Veolia and Croydon Council."
Tony Brooks, Croydon Council’s Director for Environment, said: “The work of this team is exceptional and they’re worthy winners of what is a prestigious industry award.
“Importantly, the dedication they regularly show, but was truly to the fore during the recent flooding, is recognised not only by those in the business, but also by the residents they serve who benefit from a top-class service from a crew that’s always ready to go the extra mile – and to do so with a smile.”