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Council Leader joins recycling and waste crew

Council Leader Ben Chapelard got a taste of what it’s like to work as a waste operative when he joined a recycling and waste crew collecting garden waste earlier in August on one of the hottest days of the year. Ben Chapelard was elected Leader just over three months ago in May 2022. Since then he has been taking every opportunity to find out how Council front-line teams operate on a day-to-day basis.

In order to become a member of the bin crew Ben had to undergo the same training as other new operatives at the Council’s depot in North Farm. After a mixture of online learning and practical demonstrations he was issued with his safety equipment and uniform and joined a truck that was working in the Tunbridge Wells area.

Commenting after he finished his shift Ben said: ‘It was interesting to see bin collection on a street-by-street basis as I’m usually looking at it from a different perspective. It’s tough work: hot and smelly. I think the shift with the team improved my understanding of how the recycling and waste service operates. I’m hoping to go out again in the rural areas to further understand the challenges of collecting bins over such a large area.’

Every week the Council collect bins from 49,000 properties in the borough.

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