UNISON survey prompts union to say political parties should be prepared to put their money where their litter is

Dumped on UNISONA UNISON survey shows its members working in waste management across Scotland’s local authorities are a workforce under pressure, facing increasing targets and declining budgets.

Scottish organiser Dave Watson said: “The job is treating rubbish – it shouldn’t mean getting rubbish treatment.

“Councils and the Scottish government should start realising that. They can’t expect staff to meet more stringent targets when they are being cut back.”

The report – Dumped On: working in Scotland’s waste management services – details the experience and expectations of a workforce trying do their job in an a constantly changing environment.

Waste management has become a more demanding task in recent years, with staff having to deal with demands for more and more complex recycling at the same time as budgets have been put under pressure.

These burdens are set to increase as targets for more waste to be recycled or reused are going up and council budgets are being squeezed still further, warned UNISON.

But “waste management staff are vital for both environmental Health and the health of the environment,” said Mr Watson.

“Every political party claims they want to increase recycling rates and is signed up to the idea of a Zero Waste Scotland.

“They need to be prepared to put their money where litter is.

“The aim is that more waste is reused and recycled rather than put in landfill,” he noted.

“Well, if councils and government want less waste – they are going to have to invest in more people to make that happen.

“They can’t expect to get ever more complex demands from a reducing and overstretched workforce.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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