The Olympics could bring in a new way of working for waste collection, according to James Rubin managing director of family run business Enviro Waste.
His Leyton-based firm offers waste collection services to the construction and catering industries and he believes that night working – that will become essential during the Games – may catch on and continue after the last athletes and spectators have gone home.
Eviro Waste has been advertising ad hoc night collections to pubs, bars and restaurants close to the Olympics sites as a back-up in the case regular contractors are unable to pick-up all the waste needed. The vast influx of visitors to these areas should see food waste grow during this period. Collecting at night from construction firms is more problematic due to health and safety restrictions imposed on night working. Eviro Waste has been encouraging existing clients, where possible, to switch to a night service and hopes to gain more ad hoc work during the games.
But if night collections – as they do in other European cities such as Barcelona – were to continue after the Olympics, companies such as Enviro Waste could benefit from boosted profits. “For us the road is a major resource and you also have the congestion charge but then it’s also about making it cost effective for the client,” says Rubin. “Doing night collections might mean a driver can do two jobs in the same time frame when there is less traffic – but at the moment there isn’t the demand so it’s not something we can do.”
During the day time much of the road network will be severely restricted with routes during the day reserved for the Olympic lanes and Vauxhall Bridge and Westminster Bridge closed.
Enviro Waste says its construction firms are much more prepared for the Olympics than catering customers. “The construction industry seems to see the difficulties – they work much more with roads and logistics but the pubs and restaurants don’t seem to understand,” says Rubin. “I have been doing the rounds in bars and restaurants in W2 making them aware of our service. It would be a shame for the nicer bars and hotels to have waste building up outside.”