If you would like to learn more about our team, we hear from one of the Westminster Commercial Waste collection foremen
Hi there, I’m Tomasz. I’m a foreman in Westminster. Being a foreman means that I’m part of the management but I’m also very close to the operatives on a daily basis. I’ve been working for Veolia for 9 years. First thing in the morning at 5 o’clock, I give the paperwork (routes/maps for each of the lorry drivers and also Health & Safety paper checks), the keys of the lorries and the bags to the crew so that they get all the stuff they need to go out on their rounds. It takes approximately 7 hours for a round to complete but it varies from day to day. Next, when all the crews go out, it’s paperwork time! I help my line manager to deal with complaints and extra requests which we call jobs that the council or the commercial team send us. Later on, I go out in the van, to check on those jobs and on the crews. Normally I do 4 or 5 inspections per day to make sure they’ve got everything they need. I then go back to the depot at 12pm to help the crews with the paperwork. We finish the shift at 2pm. I started as a sweeper then I drove cage vehicles, street sweepers and flushers before I got to where I am. So I’ve worked in a few depots, I’ve got the opportunity to walk in all Westminster areas. By doing so, I’ve got to know people but not only from a few depots but all the staff of Westminster when we work together for special events. I started from the bottom and most of the foremen do. I know how to do the job, as I’ve been there, it makes it easier to tell other people how to do it. What I like about my job are the working hours but also the atmosphere at work, I know every one there. I also like the fact that there is no routine, every day is different and I can do something new. What surprises me is what people throw away, it can sometimes be very valuable stuff. On few occasions we had people asking if we can retrieve items they throw away by mistake. They don’t realise each vehicle collects approximately 10 tonnes of rubbish a day and it is nearly impossible to find anything in there. We collect on average 300 tonnes of rubbish a day across the entire service. Knowing that small cars weight around 1.2 tonnes, it’s like taking 250 of them, every day, 365 days a year. Without us, there would be mountains of waste in the streets. So it is always appreciated when some people say “thank you, you’ve done a great job”.
If you want to help Tomasz reduce the amount of waste his team needs to collect, then download our 8 Quick tips for reducing waste guide.