‘Treat us like humans’ say Hackney bin collectors after worker mowed down in hit and run
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 December 2016
A bin collector was deliberately run over by a road rage driver who was angry his lorry was blocking the road.
‘I love my job’
Kelly Edmondson started out volunteering at the dog kennels on the same site as the bin collection depot in Millfields Road.
That was four years ago, and now she works on the bins. “I love my job and we work really hard,” she said. “People say, ‘what are you doing that for?’ but I love it and my daughters are really proud of me.
“There is a difference between how they treat office staff and people on the street. They look down on the job we do. But we provide a really good service.”
Manager Alex Ruddiman said people don’t realise what they do is a career for most people. “The managers are all ex- sweepers and refuse collectors,” he said. “There’s a lack of appreciation.”
The shocking incident comes during a spike in personal attacks on Hackney’s refuse collectors, who have called for people to show them respect while they work.
Earlier this month Aldivinas Tijunaitis was nearly killed when an irate man drove his van straight at him, sending him flying across Rushton Street in Hoxton.
The driver had held up traffic to have a go at bin lorry driver Gary Martin for blocking the road before smashing into Aldivinas as he sped off.
“He could have killed him,” said Gary. “I thought he’d been stabbed when I saw him on the ground. It really does make you mad. When you say you’re going to call the police you hope they will walk off but some want to keep at you.”
Aldivinas was hospitalised but escaped serious injury as, luckily, the van only smashed into his knee. The matter is now being investigated by police.
It was the second time in days a worker had been knocked down, after Nico Cotet was run over in Osbaldeston Road, Stamford Hill.
Kelly Edmondson also had a food recycling bin chucked at her this month.
The workers are all trained not to react, but manager Alex Ruddiman warned all incidents are reported to police.
“This is a difficult job,” he said. “These guys are working on behalf of the residents and deserve respect. We do everything we can to minimise disruption and Hackney is the cleanest it’s ever been.”
Alex thinks there’s a lack of patience from some people but has no idea why there has been a spike.
“If anyone has any issues we are the first people they vent at because we are so visible,” he said. “But this is the first time in seven years I’ve heard of someone deliberately driving at one of our workers.”
Having done the job himself, Alex knows how hard it can be and believes people wrongly look down on the front line workers. “The standard of service is phenomenal,” he said.