THERE has been a lot of praise for our NHS staff and those working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic – and rightly so.
But what about those who are keeping things ticking over in other ways, trying as best as possible to give us our usual essential services?
One such group are Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council's hardy group of refuse collectors, who are still out there collecting our bins on a weekly basis.
And with recycling centres closed there has undoubtedly been more pressure on waste management services.
They have earned the praise of the Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell, who thanked refuse collectors for the incredible work they are doing at the moment.
She said, “I want to commend our incredible waste collection staff who are providing a vital service for our citizens during this pandemic.
“As a council we are committed to ensuring this essential service is maintained and this is simply down to the incredible staff and we cannot thank them enough – from our HGV drivers, collectors and staff members who have volunteered from other parts of the organisation to ensure your waste is collected without disruption.”
There is an increased risk for refuse collectors, who are having to touch bins not knowing if they have been contaminated.
The Lord Mayor also had some words of advice for the public in how they could help keep the council workers safe as they go about their daily business.
“Every week these staff members collect waste and recycling from over 80,000 homes,” said Cllr Campbell.
“We are all in this together and I also want to thank our residents for following the hygiene waste guidelines by wiping the handles of their bins before and after they have been emptied and to everyone who has supported our staff by leaving personal messages to give them a reason to smile and keep going during this difficult time.
“Please keep supporting our staff, leave your bin out the night before and give our waste collectors a wave to keep them going too.
“I know our crews really appreciate all of the good wishes and they love seeing the colourful rainbows displayed as they undertake their work each day.”