Bin man kicked and shouted at on Brent round

Norbert Orban has called for kindness to be shown from residents towards bin men. 

Norbert Orban has called for kindness to be shown from residents towards bin men. - Credit: Veolia

A bin man was kicked and shouted at while on his daily rounds after refusing to take a recycling bin. 

Recycling lorry driver Norbert Orban spoke of how he was attacked while working for Veolia in Brent. 

He claimed he and his colleague were verbally abused after refusing to take a recycling bin filled with general rubbish as it is against his company’s policy. 

Norbert said the disgruntled residents were shouting at them to take the bin and started kicking him when he confronted them. 

He said: “Two residents were staring at me and they started to abuse my colleague. I parked my lorry and heard shouts in the back. 

“I jumped out and asked ‘what’s going on? For a bin, you’re starting a fight?' 
“They thought I was threatening them. I was just trying to deescalate the situation but then they started kicking me. They ran away.”

The 26-year-old, who has worked as a driver for the past two years, explained people have become “more frustrated” as the Covid-19 pandemic has worn on. 

He added it is more common to see people mix normal waste with recycling as they have more rubbish in general working from home.

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But he said this is not an excuse to abuse people, particularly when they are just doing their job. 

He said: “People think we are picking on them when we don’t take their bin. But it’s not a personal issue, it’s our company policy. 

“We are just trying to do our job properly – they shouldn’t behave like that.”
Norbert said abuse of bin collection staff is, in his experience, “not common” but that it is not helpful for anyone. 

He said it is better to talk with staff about the issues so they can go about finding a solution. 

Veolia has launched a campaign – called ‘StreetKind’ – to tackle any form of abuse against its frontline workers. 

It noted the vast majority of residents were respectful and appreciative towards its staff but that there had been a 118 per cent increase in reports of abuse during the past year.