Residents are being asked to be more careful after separate incidents in which refuse collectors were injured by broken glass and a kitchen knife thrown away in domestic rubbish bags.
Both incidents occurred on black sack collection rounds. Councillor Derek Jacobs, Environmental Protection Portfolio Holder appealed to residents to think of the safety of the refuse collectors. He said: In both instances the refuse collectors sustained nasty cuts and were taken to hospital. They also needed time off work for the cuts to heal and stitches to be removed. Collecting our rubbish is a hard job at the best of times and I would appeal to all residents to think before placing sharp objects, especially knives and broken glass in their rubbish.
Refuse collectors are injured by sharp objects in the rubbish every year. The introduction of wheelie bins is expected to lead to a considerable improvement in the accident statistics but black sack collections are scheduled to continue in some parts of the district for up to a year. Most households have blue boxes for glass bottle and jar recycling which are much safer for the refuse collectors.
Councillor Jacobs said: If you are throwing away something sharp that has to go in a sack, please wrap it carefully in several layers of newspaper or some material like an old towel. No-one wants to cause a serious injury to our refuse collectors. Most of the time they accept the hazards of the job but no-one should have to suffer from unnecessary injuries and potential infections caused by what amounts to carelessness. Residents have a moral and a legal obligation to take care.
Councillor Jacobs added: Everyone should also be aware that you could be sued for causing such an injury but no-one wants that. I am sure everyone can agree that avoiding injury in the first place is by far the best policy.
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