RR1141 - Comparative analysis of manual handling practices in kerbside collection of recyclable waste

Government targets for reducing waste going to landfill have led to an increase in the processing of domestic waste to reclaim recyclable materials. Manual sorting tasks can occur at the kerbside during waste collection and, if poorly designed, can introduce manual handling risks.

This report describes research to better understand the kerbside collection and sorting methods currently employed by the waste industry and to determine how manual handling risks can best be reduced or controlled. Six detailed case studies are presented showing a range of vehicles and processes in operation.

Manual handling risks were influenced by both vehicle and waste collection container design and some encouraged poor handling approaches. The Researchers make recommendations that the waste management industry capture the key features of best equipment design in a 'design principles' document that would form an industry benchmark for designers and customers and that the industry continue to seek to design out manual handling risks before new waste collection vehicles enter widespread use.

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Updated 2021-04-16