Collecting waste and recyclables
The scope of the waste and recycling industry comprises a spectrum of activities from ‘source to sink’ associated with the collection, processing (recycling) and disposal of waste. Principal collection activities include municipal (domestic) including green waste and recyclables, commercial, reception of a range of materials at Civic Amenity sites, Bring Sites and Household Waste Recycling Centres [HWRC] as well as skip hire operations that collect industrial and household/builders waste.
Generally, it is the local authority that has responsibility for municipal waste and recycling collections in any particular area. That service may be provided directly by the local authority or contracted to a private contractor. In either case it is the local authority and not HSE that should be the first point of contact relating to non- health and safety issues that arise from collecting activities. (e.g. bins missed during the collections).
Typical collection activities can include:
- Municipal and commercial collections
- Civic Amenity, Bring Sites and HWRCs
- Skip Hire and Waste Transfer
Collection activities are responsible for a large majority of the accidents within the industry. Key areas of concern include:
- Transport relate lifting operations
- Musculoskeletal injuries from handling receptacles of waste and recyclables;
- Slips and trips; include
- Personal hygiene
- Noise, particularly in glass collection
- The use of appropriate personal protective equipment e.g. high-visibility clothing and cut-resistant is an essential requirement.