Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Blackberrys and Rubbish

Biffa, one of the UK's biggest rubbish collection companies, has given 15,00 of their binmen Blackberry-type devices so they can 'get more done on the move'.

I was under the impression a binman's job was hard enough having to wheel bins to and fro all day but Biffa has other ideas. "Binmen could use the rugged Blackberrys to collect data from customers, download maps and communicate with head office," they said.

The devices could also be used to take photos of overfilled bins or catch households who have put general waste in their recycling bin.

"They can take pictures, but they won't as standard," a representative of Biffa said. "If there are any defects or a health and safety problem, they might take pictures".

Any problem to do with bin collection possibly comes under health and safety legislation so don't be surprised if you see your local binman taking a snap of your bin contents before he trundles it off to be emptied. Now you know what's going on in the rubbish collection industry you'll may be less surprised when the council letter, stating the amount of your fine, drops through your letter box.


Joe Public said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Public said...

1. Binmen are the only operatives I've ever seen running-on-the-job.

2. I don't recall ever seeing a binman working in the afternoon. [Maybe as a result of 1 above]

Barking Spider said...

This outrage really has gone far enough, SR, it has got to stop - although I'm not holding my breath as far as the current cosy coalition is concerned.

subrosa said...

Joe, my binmen start at 7.30am on the dot. For years, until we recently started this 2 week collection business, I was the first pickup each Thursday am and I could have set my watch by them. Only once in all these years were they late.

They do work afternoons here. Until 4.30 Monday to Thursday and 3pm Fridays. I see them around often.

subrosa said...

Have to agree BS, I'm none too happy with the double act either.

Indyanhat said...

And this is money well spent in recession hit debt laden Britain, the councillors who gave the ok to this should be sacked at the very least.

subrosa said...

Dare I suggest there are a few perks for those who sealed the deal Indyan?

Hythlodaeus said...

Despite the education and the high faulting language, I once spent a very enjoyable summer working as a street-sweep in Aberdeenshire.

I can see some advantages to such devices. You do come across 'incidents' which you are meant to report to supervisors. They were required to come (from some distance) to check them.
I could see this allowing workers to report such problems in matter of minutes. Reports of, say, biological fluid clean-up (ie Blood), could also be held for police reference if needed. Locations in which needles were found could also be tracked.

Without knowing the details of how Biffa are going to use these, it's impossible to defend them, but I can see the use for such devices in the public sector.

subrosa said...

My binmen have had mobiles for some years Hythlodaeus. I remember when they received them. I'd called to have an old bath and other items removed and 'him and him' arrived - a comedy duo if there ever was one.

Out came the mobile and the next five minutes were some of the most entertaining I've had in years. Suffice to say neither had much of a clue how to use it (they wanted to phone the office to ask for more manpower because of the weight of the bath), and when they finally did manage to dial the number the conversation was hysterical from a bystander's viewpoint. Something along the lines of (roared not spoken), 'Jimmy, Jimmy, Bill here. I said BILL HERE. Is that you Jimmy? You there?'

I'm sure you can imagine the rest.

Yes I can understand if they're used sensibly but let's be realistic, they'll bot be used for the benefit of the public but against them. That's the way life is these days.

banned said...

Certainly handy for those times when binmen find body parts and wot-not, that apart, its just BIFFA spying on us and on their workers.

I have every respect for bin workers, I know one who gets a 05:30am taxi every morning to the start of his days round. His job is to pull the wheelie bins onto the pavement for easy collection by the rest of the crew. Fair play, many councils fine you if you don't do that yourself, or do it on the 'wrong' day.

subrosa said...

Banned, my binmen deserve much credit and are the most efficient face of the council I know. Nothing is too much trouble for them and I'm quite sure if I was unable to put my bin out on the pavement, they would willing pull it round the house for me.

wisnaeme said...

I have worked for a company for nearly twenty years now and although this company is now being totally integrated with the parent company, for many years (since 1994) we have been left alone to manage ourselves for the most part.
This is now drastically changing and not for the better either. Trackers will soon be fitted to company vehicles.great big signs will be plastered on the @rse end of commercial company vehicles with the legend "bad driving?" Phone whatever! Diktats by the score from the jobsworths now make our lives a misery.
Ah yes, the blackbury; coming my way soon. Control freekery gone mad.
You don't get the best out of folk by using methods such as those, that's for sure. I was in the cludgie the other day, enjoying one of the best moments of the day when the bluidy mobile disturbed my peace and solitude. From a company jobs worth asking me where I was and what was I doing?
I told him.

... and could I phone him back in five minutes as I could only deal with one sh!te at a time.

Ho hum, disciplinary for me, ah'm thinking.

subrosa said...

Love the punchline wisnaeme! Are these things not an invasion of privacy? Surely there's something in the HRA that protects you? If there's any justice that is. :)

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