Meet Mark Hughes. He’s worked as a driver for Adur and Worthing Council Services (AWCS) since August 2012. Before that he worked for Chichester District Council.
Here’s a Q&A with Mark….
What does a typical day involve for you? On a typical day I report to the office first thing, check to see if there are any notes on the board and liaise with the office staff as necessary. After collecting the keys and phone and completing a vehicle check, I plan the best and most cost-efficient way to complete the route and confirm the day’s work to the team. While we’re out on the round, any missing bins are recorded and tip runs are carried out at the designated times. When we’ve completed our work, we check in with the other rounds to help them as necessary. When we get back to the yard, we make sure the vehicle is left ready for the next day.
What’s the best part of your job? The best bit is the early start and finish. This means I can get home to walk my dogs knowing they haven’t been left on their own for too long.
And the worst? The worst bit is coming across dead animals and having to report finding them. Many of these are family pets and I don’t like the fact that the owners won’t always find out what happened to them.
Any memorable moments? My most memorable moment was appearing on television last year. This was when the Gold Star Recycling Scheme began and I was featured in the South Today news programme.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve seen in the waste? The most surprising thing I have come across was an old biscuit tin which was filled with numerous pairs of false teeth, a glass eye and a toy jumping frog.
Tell us something we may not know about Adur and Worthing’s refuse service? The Councils introduced the Safeguarding Scheme a couple of years ago to make us more aware of the community and to notice when things don’t seem right when we’re out on our round. This proved invaluable recently when another team member and I helped a family to reach their elderly relative who had fallen over in their home and was unable to move. We noticed the family standing outside, unable to get into the house because the door key had been left in the lock inside. We went round the house and found a small open window through which we managed to open the main window. We were then able to climb in and open the front door from the inside. The family were very grateful for our help.
What advice would you give to help reduce the amount of waste we all produce?
Education is one of the best ways to pass on the message about reducing waste. This can include schools talks and guided visits to our waste recycling centres. People are usually impressed because they don’t realise how much we do.