I start my shift by signing in with a supervisor to go through any additional collections or deliveries for the day. Then I check my vehicle, before setting off on my round. I take pride in my truck and like it to be in top operational condition, and clean.
A typical shift is 8 ½ hours, with the possibility of paid overtime on busier days. I always work on the same shift pattern and on the same round, however our business is 365 days a week so that we can collect from our customers at times that suit them. I collect from 200 locations per shift in average, using an optimised route that minimises CO2 emissions and traffic. There can be changes to the plan, though, so I have to keep my wits about me and communicate regularly with my supervisor.
The high volume of cars, bike and motorbikes in London means the driving is challenging and never boring. The work is physical, which keeps me fit, but it’s also sociable- maybe talking to customers whilst I collect their sacks or bins from within their premises, or having a cup of coffee back at base with a colleague after my shift. I love being out and about and the feeling that I’m trusted to get on with doing my job well.
Lots of drivers refer their friends or relatives to First Mile and receive a great cash incentive if they stay in their position for a certain period of time. It helps to build a strong workforce and shows how much we enjoy working for the company.
I’ve learned a lot about how handling waste responsibly can help the planet since I joined. I enjoy knowing that I play an important role in that process- that we all do as part of one team.
Andrei Daniel Antaloaie, Collection Driver