WHILE the Christmas break occupies most Ipswich people this week, spare a thought for the men and women keeping the city's streets free of rubbish.
Local Government Minister David Crisafulli visited Ipswich yesterday to give a pat on the back to the council staff slogging away in the summer heat.
Between 28 and 34 staff worked the public holidays this week, collecting more than 20,000 rubbish bins.
Council workers collected 500 tonnes of rubbish, 250 tonnes of recyclables and 10 tonnes of green waste each day.
The Ipswich City Council estimates 24% of rubbish collected is recycled.
Mr Crisafulli urged Ipswich residents to thank the council workers who keep the streets and parks clear of rubbish over the Christmas break.
He said while the majority of Queenslanders enjoyed a well-earned break, it would be business as usual for many council staff.
"Local councils are the backbone of communities both large and small," he said.
"Councils around the state keep providing the essential services that allow the rest of us to kick back and enjoy ourselves.
"In the good times they work hard, in the tough times like storm season, they work even harder."
Mr Crisafulli said residents expected a certain level of service and, no matter the conditions, all of the state's 73 councils were on the job rain, hail or shine.
"But it's not just rubbish; staff have been out and about checking picnic tables and mowing grass in our parks and recreation areas so they're ready for use," he said.
It's during the Christmas period when our favourite picnic spots come under the most strain and it's council staff who make sure the barbecues work and the toilets flush.
"A Queensland summer wouldn't be the same without them."