Veolia, Lambeth council’s waste collection contractor, says it has received an overwhelming response to its national #StreetSmiles campaign to recognise the contribution of waste workers carrying out essential services.
People all over London are putting out thank you notes or displaying smiling suns in their windows.
“When I started to see the smiling suns coming through for us it made my day,” said one collector. “I’m proud to be doing what I do and keeping communities going, but it can be hard. Seeing the public support out there makes a huge difference for us.”
The #StreetSmiles campaign asks people to place a smiling sun picture in their window or somewhere near to their bins where their collectors can see it.
You can also Tweet a picture and message to @VeoliaUK or @lambeth_council with #StreetSmiles. Veolia says that everything coming in is fed back to teams on the ground.
Gavin Graveson, executive vice president for Veolia UK and Ireland, said: “We have been overwhelmed by public support for our front line staff, with many residents asking us how they can express gratitude towards their waste collectors.
“#StreetsSmiles allows residents to say ‘thanks’ safely, and spreads sunshine to key workers as they carry out essential tasks.”
Claire Holland, Lambeth council cabinet member for environment and clean air, said: “In Lambeth, we have a workforce that has shown extraordinary commitment and resilience in the face of a global crisis, including our amazing refuse collectors.
“I’m delighted by the support shown by the Lambeth community for these key workers, and I hope that we all continue to appreciate the work they do every day, emptying our bins and keeping our streets safe and clean.”
Veolia’s Lambeth operations are based in Brixton at Shakespeare Road.
The France-based company has 178,780 employees around the world and had revenues of more than €27 billion last year.