Garbage Collection; In The Field As An Operations Manager/Supervisor
“I wake up at 5:30am to prepare for a day of picking garbage from homes in Kampala suburbs. 30 minutes is what makes the man who spends over 7 hours at work. By 6:00 am, I’m already at the yard where the trucks park, and at about 6:30am, duty starts,” narrates Peter.
Peter Innocent Isingoma, an electrical engineer by profession who has discovered a career in waste management as an Operations Manager, works with a waste collection service in Kisaasi called Deers Mart. His duties revolve around making sure that the garbage is collected promptly and that the clients subscribed to waste collection service providers on the Yo-Waste App are satisfied with the services.
To make sure that all the loaders are on duty at the required time, the collection company allocated venues where the truck boys can station themselves so Peter can easily identify and pick them up, one by one.
Some of the challenges Peter is afraid of each morning are bad weather conditions and the poor condition of the trucks meant to perform the garbage collection task.
On a normal working day, Peter performs internal follow-ups of clients/customers who were signed onto the app by the sales marketing team; He makes sure that clients are served excellently and left with no complaints about the service. By the time his day ends, he has got the hang of interacting with different kinds of customers, as he gets to learn from them and can base on the findings to improve and enjoy his job.
“Some customers are unscrupulous. Prior to our implementation of the #CASHLESS transaction/payment on the Yo-Waste App, some customers could be served for over a month yet they played fast and loose with the payment terms. That’s one of the reasons Yo-Waste went #cashless.”
In addition to allocating days for customers in specific areas to be serviced since every territorial operation place has its collection date, Peter also makes sure that the collection trucks are fully loaded with fuel to allow them navigate the geographical areas of operation.
He as well has to be in the know of how the loaders are fairing, their health; physical and emotional readiness to perform well on the job.
“To achieve a great working spirit, I give leeway to the loaders to perform their side duties that motivate them while on the job, such as making side collections from which they get to pocket an extra penny. He also covers some incentives such as incurring their lunch expenses” tells Peter.
When a driver has less information or is not well versed with the community, leading to missed pickups, the Operations Manager has to on-board a driver that will fill those gaps. Peter’s role also involves having the ability to direct the driver in case he has issues locating the clients’ pick-up locations.
Customer to company relations are also very fundamental.
When the loaders are loading, the Operations Manager engages the customer to see if he’s benefitting from the service, and figures out ways of improving in case of dissatisfaction.
These are the Challenges in Peter’s work
Weather; Rain disrupts the activities because the garbage often gets wet, heavy and stinky. The loaders are inconvenienced with the stench in addition to the health hazard it poses.
“Rain doesn’t provide a conducive environment for the loaders when it rains while they are on the trucks. Loaders stand at a risk of being hit by rain, they often get shivery and weak, which takes a toll on their physical and emotional energy to perform.” narrates Peter
In addition to the danger caused to the pickup trucks by poor roads in some areas, the maintenance of garbage trucks also digs deep into the pockets of the garbage collectors.
Some customers are in places far away from the main road, at times the roads leading to their homes or business places are very narrow and hideous, it’s hard for the trucks to penetrate the areas. This poses a question to the city plan.