The Princess Royal carried out her first engagement since becoming a grandmother for the fifth time, visiting the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service to thank the essential workers in waste and recycling collection.
The Waste Service is a shared facility that operates out of Waterbeach and is used by the South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils. During her visit, Princess Anne met with refuse loaders and bin lorry drivers who have been working throughout the pandemic to ensure waste and recycling collection over the past year.
In a blog post on the South Cambridgeshire District Council website, refuse crew worker Hayley Resztan said, “It was nice to meet The Princess. Her Royal Highness was interested in how I recycle at home too, and whether I started recycling more when I began working here. I’ve always taken care to recycle though.”
A spokesperson from the Greater Cambridge Commercial Waste Service, Greg Hutton-Squire, added, “It was very pleasant to meet The Princess and good of Her Royal Highness to show an interest in us. The Princess was interested in business waste, and the number of organisations and schools that we collect recycling from.”
The Royal Family noted on Twitter that households have generated more recycling and household waste than ever due to lockdown; the Waste Service noted on its website that at least a quarter of its staff had been out over the pandemic, either due to illness or self-isolation requirements, and that collection was never interrupted because of it.
Princess Anne also viewed the new Dennis Eagle eCollect electric lorry bin, the first of its kind in operation in Cambridgeshire, and one that marks the beginning of a replacement drive for all lorries with electric or hydrogen vehicles.
The Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, said of Princess Anne’s visit, “It is a real honour to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Waterbeach, to say thank you to some of the unsung heroes of the pandemic, our refuse collectors, without whom our streets would have been unimaginable. We owe a lot to the teams who have worked tirelessly through all weathers, and the virus, to ensure that we have maintained a safe and clean environment.”