Karen Wells is one of the dozens of bin lorry loaders who are proud to be working hard for north Oxfordshire residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 57-year-old fitness enthusiast tracks her steps throughout her 7am to 5pm shift. On any given day she will take between 37,000 to 51,000 steps, walking up to 21 miles. Her efforts contribute to the achievements of her team, who collect between 220 to 250 tonnes of waste and recycling per day at this time of year.
Karen said: “I love working outdoors and this job is great because it gives me lots of exercise. We help elderly and vulnerable people with their bins and I also love the interactions with our residents and their animals.”
Like everyone on the team, Karen is enjoying the support of the residents, including those from Kidlington. She says “The kids are unbelievable. We’ve got lots of their drawings pinned up in our lorries. We are so grateful for the thumbs-up, the clapping, and the waving through windows. As a key worker, you’re aware of the fact that we’ve all got to pull together at the moment, and I know everyone else working the bins would say the same.”
Come July, Karen will have been emptying bins for Cherwell residents for five years. But she is only one of a few women in her line of work. She added: “It’s not for the faint-hearted, but I would definitely encourage other women to give it a try – especially if they are into fitness!”