Local hero Simon awarded for ‘saving the day’

As an avid football supporter, Simon Edwards keeps his own fans happy by providing great service at his local household waste recycling centre

Jun 16 2017

Local hero Simon awarded for 'saving the day'

Simon is the site deputy at the Segensworth centre, in Fareham and he has a big role in making sure residents’ recycling and waste are disposed of correctly.

“I love my job” said Simon. “I get to talk to lots of different people. We get to know some of our regular customers who come in every day, sometimes just with a single bag of recycling or waste or a little bag of garden clippings. It can be quite a social thing for some people and every day is different.”

Simon is employed via a partnership with Veolia, the recycling and waste management contractor for Hampshire County Council. He has worked at Segensworth for the last four years, more recently being promoted to supervisor.

He is among the first group of winners of Veolia’s new awards, which recognise staff who go the extra mile. He recently won a Local Hero Award in the ‘Saves the day’ category for great customer service. “It’s nice to be recognised, because this job is difficult sometimes, so it’s good to know that what I do is appreciated,” he said.

Customer care is really important to Simon and his team: “We always help people with their recycling and waste, directing them to the correct bin and helping them unload. We try to be proactive. We have a few people who can’t even get out of their cars. We know who they are and the team are straight over to help.”

Last year, the County Council opened up the HWRC network during the week for the first time to small businesses, supporting local businesses at no cost to council tax payers. This gives small firms a local option to dispose of their recycling and waste on a chargeable basis. Simon says this is really cost effective for them. “We now have regular trade waste and commercial waste customers. Some landscape gardeners who run their own businesses bring their green waste here because it’s convenient and often cheaper for smaller loads than going to a commercial waste transfer facility.”

The County Council has also brought in charges to help contribute to the costs of specific types of non-household waste which are expensive to dispose of – soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos. With continued reductions in funding for council services, it was no longer possible to offer this for free at the same time as meeting residents’ priority of keeping all sites open. Simon says: “It has been a bit difficult at times, but the people who direct their anger at us are a minority and really most of our customers are very friendly and happy with the service we provide.”

If you want to find out more about what happens to your recycling and waste, why not come along to one of Veolia’s open days. See their website for details of future dates