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J.W

The Glastonbury Recycling Crew

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After being lucky enough to join all the fantastic volunteers last year I can safely say its worth it. As always there are pros and cons depending on what shifts you get etc. Unless you know someone personally within a charity who can get you a space then you will need to register either with the charities such as Oxfam/Wateraid or you can register with the festival at a later date. I also think there's a way of registering with Festaff but I've not done that so can't really say I can recommend it- perhaps others have and can. 

The only cons for me were when everyone was going out after the music in to the night of partying we had to go get some shut eye to be up for litter picking on the Pyramid stage at 5am. The pros far outweighed the cons though and We had great/dry weather last year so i can imagine the wet years are much worse but the shifts themselves were fine really and there were so many good points of arriving early before the crowds, access to crew bars, parking included, meals included and just generally the feel good factor of making a difference to the fantastic festival of doing your little bit to help the smooth transition for the next day. The feeling of seeing the Pyramid field all clear at the end of shift after arriving at 5am to see it full of empty cans (and far worse) is amazing. 

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I know someone who did the sorting of the waste last year, sounded dreadful to be fair.

Dressed in a plastic overall for 7 hours separating out the recycling from all the other crap as it passed on a conveyor belt. Hard work with occasional attacks of bin juice. She had a few tales to tell though, sitting next to a clearly hungover girl of around 20 who stopped every 20 minutes or so to throw up but carried on doggedly to the end of the shift. One day they finished early and got sent to clean some tractors rather than being given an early dart.

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14 minutes ago, Gnomicide said:

I know someone who did the sorting of the waste last year, sounded dreadful to be fair.

Dressed in a plastic overall for 7 hours separating out the recycling from all the other crap as it passed on a conveyor belt. Hard work with occasional attacks of bin juice. She had a few tales to tell though, sitting next to a clearly hungover girl of around 20 who stopped every 20 minutes or so to throw up but carried on doggedly to the end of the shift. One day they finished early and got sent to clean some tractors rather than being given an early dart.

I seen some sights on the pyramid field early saturday morning after Radiohead. Having to pick it all up whilst hungover was a challenge for us all. One guy was asked to empty the bins at the bottom left hand corner where all the food stalls are and I don't think he wanted to see another giant yorkshire pudding ever again after having to clear a lot of the discarded ones away, he was then sick directly into his black bin bag and just carried on wading through the mess. We finished early that morning as well and rather than an early dart we were sent to the naughty corner to help pick up in Unfairground and then Shangri-La and that was another experience itself! 

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Yes, you don't want to be in the recycling centre - especially in a hot year but some people do prefer it to the miles that you cover on a 6am shift. Especially on the first couple of days when the Pyramid isnt so bad so you get sent off to find some rubbish - this used to be trawling all the way up to the Park. Now that hellish stage has been added by the Glade we normally end up there picking up the sea of metal canisters.

It wouldnt be fair to let us go while other people like the Stone Circle and Park crew are getting hammered on those first couple of days though - we all have to pitch in.

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I was also on the Pyramid field team last year, second time I've done litter picking. I'd happily do it every year, in return for not having the stress of t-day, but it's not for everyone. I've always been happy to get to sleep not long after the headliners, and be up fairly early, so I don't feel like I'm missing out there. Of course, anyone who particularly likes the nighttime areas might struggle to do a 6 hour shift straight after. I can always have later nights Monday to Wednesday if I fancy it, anyway! 

I volunteer through a charity called Small Steps Project, and £100 of my deposit goes to them, to help fund their work with families scratching a living on landfill sites, so as well as contributing to the festival, I'm also happy to be helping their work. I think a few other charities provide small numbers of litter pickers, but the majority of the recycling team are organised for the festival by Critical Waste. They're probably the best bunch to contact, if you want to get involved.

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Thank you all so much for all the great info! 
 

22 hours ago, Doug85 said:

As always there are pros and cons depending on what shifts you get etc.

Does one have any control over what shifts he/she gets?

 

18 hours ago, giantkatestacks said:

Yes, you don't want to be in the recycling centre

May I ask what is this ‘recycling centre’ you speak of? 🤔

 

14 hours ago, mr gumby said:

I think a few other charities provide small numbers of litter pickers, but the majority of the recycling team are organised for the festival by Critical Waste. They're probably the best bunch to contact, if you want to get involved.

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Much appreciated!

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2 hours ago, J.W said:

 

May I ask what is this ‘recycling centre’ you speak of? 🤔

It’s the big shed in the NE corner where all the shit gets taken to be manually segregated into different types of shit. 

So when people shit in a bag this is where it comes for people to deal with. 

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3 hours ago, J.W said:


 

Does one have any control over what shifts he/she gets?

 

 

You can state what you want on the form at the beginning but unless you're a veteran or are bringing special skills like tractor driving to the party you will probably be put on early Pyramid shifts. Simply because if a newby is spectacularly unsuited for the work or worse, doesnt turn up, then there are enough people on the Pyramid to soak that up. In other teams it would make more of a difference iyswim.

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