Control Room Operative Peter Hall has seen a lot of changes during his 33 years in the waste business – not least in technology.
So, when SITA UK’s Tees Valley energy-from-waste facility officially launched its new £70m extension earlier this month, 63-year-old Peter was delighted to be at the controls in the heart of the site.
It brought back memories of years gone by, when the former Cleveland County Council opened the old Cleveland Incinerator in 1976, followed by the opening of SITA UK’s state-of-the art Tees Valley EfW facility in 1999.
During that time, the Middlesbrough grandfather said he had seen many faces come and go, but his love for his job had remained the same.
Peter, who is now an operator on lines one and two at the EfW facility, said: "I was very proud to be here for my third facility opening. I know 33 years is a long time, but it seems to have passed very quickly.
"I have always had the same role, but I think my duties have altered over the years as the technology has improved. My job has changed from being quite physical and dirty, to one that is very clean and based around computer technology.
"In 1976, the incinerator was considered ahead of its time and it did a very good job, but there is no comparison to the facilities we have now. They are very clean and sophisticated and the emissions are minimal. It is amazing equipment."
Production Manager Phil Carlson, who is Peter’s line manager, said: "Reliability of the facilities has gone up enormously, as has the cleanliness of the plant, while emissions have dropped to the minimum.
"Over the years, we have had to adapt to computers much more and while Peter says he is resisting getting a computer at home, he is very skilled at it here. There are very few people who have the experience he has gained over the years."