SILHILLIANS are being called on to be kind following a rise in abuse towards staff at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Bickenhill.
Veolia, the company which oversees the running of the recycling site, has launched SiteKind in Solihull after a number of incidents have been reported affecting its Solihull team.
The campaign thanks residents who recognise the hard work of their teams and takes stronger action against those who abuse or endanger its staff.
Veolia says whilst the majority of people are respectful of frontline staff, a rise in the most serious cases of physical and verbal abuse has led to a new commitment from the company to pursue more prosecutions.
In Solihull, the focus will be on staff at the Bickenhill site where incidents have occurred.
Veolia hopes to decrease the instances of abuse, but has pledged to staff that all reports will be investigated and strong action taken when necessary.
Councillor Ken Hawkins, Solihull Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “Most of our residents are polite and courteous but unfortunately some people behave very differently when they are inside a motor vehicle at our recycling centre – something we all see with road rage incidents on a daily basis.
“To the majority of our residents I’d like to say thank you for helping our staff do their job.
“And to the minority of abusive residents, let them be in no doubt that the council fully supports Veolia’s no tolerance initiative.
“Nobody should face abuse at work and we are right behind Veolia’s SiteKind campaign to end it.”
According to the environmental solutions company nationally reports of abuse from frontline staff have more than doubled in 2021, with a 118 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2020.
Shaun Donohue, General Manager for North and Midlands at Veolia said: “Our staff work tirelessly to ensure the service they provide is of the highest standard; ensuring that the customer has a pleasant experience at our Household Waste and Recycling Centre. During the pandemic, staff were treated as local heroes by the public, now life is moving back to normal, reports on abuse are starting to climb.
“No one should experience abuse at work and we are committed to tackling this issue and supporting our staff through our SiteKind campaign.”
Veolia say the campaign has been successful in ten local authority areas with the full support of the local councils and Veolia’s Executive Board, including Hampshire and South London.