A binman working hard through lockdown has said drawings from children, supportive messages and gifts have been helping lift the spirits of his crew.
Jack Mills, an 18-year-old refuse collector in Manchester, said his crew are collecting more rubbish than ever as people stay at home, but gestures of support help put a smile on their faces.
Mr Mills, from Chadderton in Oldham, Greater Manchester, has worked for a refuse collection agency while deciding on a career since finishing his A-Levels in economics, business and PE last summer.
He said receiving messages and gifts including chocolate eggs and beer “makes your day better”.
“We had Easter eggs left on a bin with a note saying ‘thank you for your hard work,'” he said.
“A lot of the bins have notes on saying thank you, and a lot of people are putting signs in their windows saying thank you for your hard work and service. They have been clapping for us as well.
“It’s nice, it makes your day better, when people are coming out and appreciating you for what you’re doing.
“We’ve had kids coming out with their mums saying they’ve drawn a picture.
“It’s usually the rainbow which has become the logo for the NHS and the frontline workers, and we put them in the wagon.”
He added his favourite drawing was of binmen in their wagon, by some of the neighbourhood children.
Mr Mills said while they have enough PPE, including gloves, hand sanitiser and masks, residents could help keep binmen safe by cleaning their bin handles.
“Sometimes you do worry thinking about what you’re coming into contact with, definitely,” he said.