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Bin crew helps school boy ambition become reality 

Published 19th March 2021

Owais with a bin truck

Alan Williams and Stephen Whitehouse, who work for Sandwell Council’s environment partner Serco, delighted a Tividale school boy who dreams of becoming a ‘bin man’ when he’s older.

Alan and Steve, part of the Commercial Waste team and provide schools and businesses across Sandwell with waste collections, have been visiting Grace Mary Primary School as part of their weekly round.

Since the start of the year they noticed Owais, a pupil at Grace Mary Primary School, comes out and watches them collect the schools waste containers every Thursday.

Owais recently sent a letter to Alan and Steve where he thanked the bin men for their hard work and how he liked watching the rubbish go into the bin truck. He went on to add that: “When I am older I want to be a bin man.” And asked where does the rubbish go after it is collected?

Alan and Steve surprised Owais at their next visit with his very own Serco high-visibility vest and red protective gloves, transforming him from school boy to bin worker in an instant.

Owais was given the opportunity to help push the bin to the back of the lorry and enjoyed being able to press the button for the bin to lift up and watched in amazement as it emptied into the truck.

The crew gave him and Learning Support Practitioner Andrea Potts a socially distanced tour around their bin lorry and to top off the experience, gifted him his very own toy waste truck to take home.

Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy leader for Sandwell Council said, “It’s clear how our bin crews are essential members of our communities.

“What Alan and Steve have done for this young boy is heart-warming. They have truly gone the extra mile to do something special – leaving a positive feeling on a young boy.

Our crews regularly receive compliments from pleased parents, where even a small gesture like a wave, smile or hello has made the day of their child.”

It’s great to see and I thank residents for their ongoing support shown towards our crews”

Dave Lynas, Contract Manager at Serco said, “Alan and Steve are valuable members in our commercial waste team. They create great relationships with customers but what they’ve done for this young boy is very thoughtful. We hope he enjoyed his special experience and will continue to wear his hi-vis vest and have no end of fun with his toy waste lorry.”