Barr Environmental COVID-19 News Update

Posted: 14.05.20

Following First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement on 7th of May, Scotland, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, will remain in lockdown staying with the message of “Stay Home” rather than adopting the UK Government’s slogan “Stay Alert- Control the Virus- Save Lives.” The First Minister has indicated that this will be under constant review in-line with scientific guidance, with the next update set to take place on the 20th of May. 

As such, Barr Environmental Limited would like to provide an update on how we have coped with the virus so far and how our services will return to normal over the next few months, while ensuring that when all of our staff return to work it can be done safely within government guidelines, whilst also protecting the public. 

Throughout the 8 weeks of lockdown Barr sites have continued to function, with the exception of the Civic Amenity sites, at reduced frequencies and staffing due to lower demands and requirements. All four Barr sites are operating currently Monday to Friday, with the weekends closed; however, this is under constant weekly review in-line with customers’ needs. To find out each of Barr’s sites opening hours please check the “Locations” section of our website. Barr Skip Hire services are also continuing currently. 

A number of our employees have also been furloughed during this time, however, with all Councils now returning to separate recycling and green waste collections, there will be a need to have increased staff presence onsite over the coming weeks. As such, management are now working on the phased return of required furloughed staff to ensure that they can return to work safely and that the increased numbers onsite can operate safely within social distancing requirements, as far as is reasonably practicable. 

Barr Environmental Limited would like to extend their gratitude to all of its operational staff, who have arrived onsite throughout and carried out their work on a daily-basis to the best of their ability, whilst also adjusting their work practices to adopt the two-metre rule, where possible. A thank you also goes out to all staff who are furloughed, for doing their bit during the COVID-19 crisis by keeping themselves fit and healthy; this will help to ensure that when they are required to return to work, they are ready to do so. We understand that, for our staff, both of these current situations are difficult, however, we appreciate their ongoing efforts, understanding and patience. 

To ensure the health and wellbeing of all Barr Environmental staff, Site Managers have been keeping in communication with all site staff, whether still working onsite or on furlough, thereby ensuring that everyone is kept up-to-date on the situation and can receive any support they may need at this uncertain time. Barr workplaces have also been adapted to ensure increased hygiene and social distancing principles can be followed by all staff, as far as reasonably practicable. Posters and signs encouraging compliance around the workplace act as a constant reminder to staff and visitors. 

The question around Civic Amenity sites remains difficult and the public’s frustration is understandable as these remain closed meantime due to Government guidelines. Ongoing conversations are taking place across Scotland, regarding the re-opening of these sites, between Waste Management Companies, Local Authorities, Regulatory Bodies, Industry Associations, Police and Transport Scotland, with the aim of re-opening as safely as possible. Barr Environmental Limited are, therefore, reviewing all procedures and Traffic Management Plans and altering these to reflect increased road traffic/safety and the requirement for strict 2-metre rule between site staff and members of the public. The safety of Barr staff and the public is paramount and, therefore, Civic Amenity sites will remain closed until Government guidelines state it is safe to reopen. We appreciate staff and the public’s ongoing understanding and patience with this. 

These unprecedented times have proved a challenge to every one of us, however, things can only get better. From everyone here at Barr Environmental Limited – stay safe!