Bin collection crews facing abuse from Surrey residents

Despite being categorised as key workers when coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced in March 2020, bin collection crews in Surrey still face verbal abuse and are sometimes put in danger by members of the public.

Most often, residents verbally abuse bin collection crews when they want them to collect waste presented in a way that could cause a hazard or waste that has been put into the wrong bins. Staff are also put in danger when vehicles pass too close to collection vehicles, sometimes damaging them as they do.

This week the Surrey Environment Partnership, whose partners include the 11 local authorities in Surrey responsible for managing waste collection, have launched a campaign to celebrate the county’s bin collection staff for their hard work during this challenging time and to help residents know how to help make their lives easier.

Nicola Blake Account Director at Amey, responsible for managing crews that collect waste and recycling in four areas of Surrey, says: “We’re so proud that our crews have been recognised as key workers during lockdown and managed to keep a near-complete service running for residents at such a challenging time. The support, through letters, hand-made cards and drawings has been heart-warming and well received by our teams. However, some residents can often misunderstand the role of a waste collection operative and on some occasions take out their frustrations on them. We ask that residents do their best to understand their roles and to get in contact with us if they have any concerns.”

Chair of the Surrey Environment Partnership, Neil Dallen, says: “It’s a sad fact that some members of the public feel the need to abuse members of bin collection staff while they are working. We recognise them as local heroes, salute them for their hard work and hope this campaign will reward them for their work and help better inform residents on how to deal with their waste.”

Some of the ways that residents can help their bin collection crews can be found on the Surrey Environment Partnership website.


Editor’s notes

For further information, contact

Surrey Environment Partnership
The Surrey Environment Partnership is made up of Surrey County Council and the 11 district and borough councils in the county. It aims to manage Surrey’s waste in the most efficient, effective, economical and sustainable manner.

The 11 district and borough councils are waste collection authorities (WCAs) and are responsible for the collection of Surrey’s municipal waste which includes waste from households. The county council is the waste disposal authority and is responsible for the disposal and treatment of Surrey’s municipal waste collected at the kerbside and waste and recycling from Surrey’s community recycling centres (CRCs).
To find out more, visit