Staff at recycling centres in Berkshire are being trained to spot the signs of dementia so they can better help visitors affected by the condition.
The initiative has been introduced by re3, the waste management partnership between Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham borough councils and FCC Environment, after figures indicated that more than 4,500 people in the area were living with dementia.
Re3 staff will learn about the condition and then use that understanding to support any customers with dementia so that they feel comfortable during their trip to a recycling centre.
Dorothy Hayes, chair of the Joint Waste Disposal Board, said that creating safe, welcoming facilities for all sections of society was part of an overall strategy to make recycling easier.
“When a centre or venue is dementia-friendly, visitors affected by the condition can trust staff to spot the signs of a person with dementia and, understatedly, make their visit safe, comfortable and successful.”
Adrian Clarke, general manager for FCC, said: “This initiative will allow us to support our on-site teams by improving their knowledge and skills. But it also allows us to better support the community we are at the heart of, ensuring we best meet the needs of all our site users.”