For the Bin Crew
A poem celebrating refuse and waste management key workers by award-winning performance-poet Luke Wright

Join in the celebrations as we say ‘thank you’ to the key workers who keep our communities clean and safe…

We’re delighted to have teamed up with FCC Environment, one of the UK’s leading recycling and waste management companies, to commission award-winning poet Luke Wright to write a poem praising the thousands of key workers who have continued to collect and manage waste during lockdown. You can watch Luke performing ‘For the Bin Crew’ below!

When you’ve finished reading, why not try drawing and writing your own thank you messages to display in your window? You can use our cut-out template, available in the EDP today (22 May 2020) or to download here >>

For the Bin Crew

by Luke Wright

As night clocks off and day clocks in

the rumble of a wheelie bin

reverberates through morning mist

– the sound of dawn’s percussionist.

And there they stride in raver chic

like titans up your sleepy street

submissive lorry by their side

bin crew – say that name with pride.

While I’m still yawning, sore and mardy

bin crews make the tit look tardy.

Grizzled angels of the front

who take the things that we don’t want.

So come now Britain, raise a drink

without them all our homes would stink


Watch Luke Wright perform ‘For the Bin Crew’

Like other key workers in health, care and retail, refuse crews and waste management teams work around the clock to ensure our health, safety and comfort and we wanted to create a moment to celebrate that with an affectionate, funny piece of work from one of the country’s leading live-literature performers, who also lives in the region.

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive, National Centre for Writing says:

“This country has shown how creative it can be in thanking those people who’ve made our lives safer and healthier over recent weeks. We wanted to join the effort by thanking the bin crews and have teamed up with Luke, the EDP and FCC Environment to give all the people in the region the chance to create their own poem or poster of thanks. We can’t wait to see how creative the families and young people here can be!”


Steve Longdon, Regional Director, FCC Environment says:

“As a business, day in and day out our teams go about their work not just collecting but separating, bulking, transporting and processing our recycling and our waste to ensure it ends up in the right places. It is hard but vital work and it is a job so many of us at FCC love. But in the last two months the amazing amount of thanks and the recognition our people have received from the public has been phenomenal, and well deserved of course, but to be reflected in this way by the NCW and by Luke is fantastic for our teams.”

FCC Environment collects waste and recycling from some 1.3 million people  across the Country and as well as operating Waste Transfer Stations at Costessey, Thetford and Shipdham, handling up to 100,000t of Norfolk’s residual waste every year, it runs the Mile Cross Recycling Centre on Swanton Road in Norwich on behalf of Norfolk County Council where the team of 10 key workers are on site to receive waste and recycling during the hours of 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.


Luke Wright has enjoyed enormous success, having performed at Glastonbury and the Edinburgh Festival and is a regular guest on Radio 4.  A graduate of the University of East Anglia, Luke lives in the region and wanted to help celebrate the sometimes-overlooked heroes of front-line delivery.

Commenting on the project, Luke said:

“I was delighted to write a little ode to our hard-working bin crews. We are completely reliant on key workers to make our society function. Maybe one of the positives from this crisis will be a renewed appreciation all our key workers. All hail the bin crew.”

We’d love you to share your ‘thank you’ drawings and messages with us on Twitter @WritersCentre or by sending them to [email protected].

Winning entries will receive a £25 voucher for The Book Hive – Norwich’s popular independent bookstore which has stayed open for online delivery during lockdown and even put together ‘isolation reading packs’ for readers of all ages.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 3 June.

Top image: Connor McGowan, refuse and waste management worker

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