Recycling and recovery

Doncaster couple plead guilty to assault on recycling collection crew

A Doncaster woman and her partner pleaded guilty to a shocking and violent assault in broad daylight on a SUEZ recycling and recovery UK (SUEZ) collection crew. The couple were sentenced at Doncaster Magistrates Court. SUEZ has taken the difficult decision to publicise the assault given its severity and the fact that this is sadly not an uncommon occurrence.

The crew were simply doing their job collecting recycling from the Askern area in Doncaster. They rejected a recycling bin and explained to the couple that they couldn’t empty it because it had an old duvet stuffed inside – which isn’t one of the materials that can be recycled through the blue bin and should be taken to a household waste recycling centre (HWRC). The couple then chased a member of the crew down the road and attacked him. The assault was captured on the collection vehicle’s CCTV which was used as evidence at the hearing.

SUEZ’s Regional Director, John Wilkinson said: “We were shocked and sorry that a member of our crew had to endure such horrific and unprovoked abuse. SUEZ has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to the abuse and harassment of our employees who are delivering an essential public service. Regrettably, assaults on our collection crews are not uncommon and we would like to thank South Yorkshire Police for their support in pursuing this incident."

Councillor Mark Houlbrook, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Waste, Doncaster Council said: “We absolutely deplore the actions of the individuals involved in this incident. There is no situation in which this behaviour should be accepted or tolerated. It should be a given that all staff in the workplace are treated with respect.”

PC Egan-Wyer, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “This was a shocking assault on workers who were simply trying to do their job.

“I am pleased we were able to secure such a strong case which resulted in both defendants pleading guilty. I would hope that hours working in the community will help both of them to realise how valuable these workers are and encourage them to treat them with the respect they deserve in the future.

“We will always endeavour to do all we can to seek justice in cases like these and put offenders before the courts.”