Rubbish collectors seriously injured by items thrown away by Auckland residents

The campaign is aimed at South Auckland, the only area where black bin liners are still used. Photo / 123rf
The campaign is aimed at South Auckland, the only area where black bin liners are still used. Photo / 123rf

More than 80 rubbish collectors have been seriously injured on the job by dangerous items thrown away by Auckland residents in the past two years.

Broken plates and windows, bamboo and metal skewers, kitchen knives, gardening equipment - even a cactus - have inflicted injuries on collectors, who have been cut as they pick up the bags for disposal.

Auckland Council and EnviroNZ are teaming up in a new campaign to encourage Manukau residents to ensure dangerous rubbish is safely disposed of.

The campaign is aimed at South Auckland, the only area where non-standard black bin liners are still used, which the council said could be made of flimsier material than tougher plastic bags used in other areas.

Sharp objects had more chance of piercing or ripping through the black bags.

The month-long campaign urges people to "wrap before you trash" to keep themselves and their rubbish collectors safe.

Ian Stupple, Auckland Council's general manager - waste solutions, said health and safety was a priority for the council.

Often people didn't think beyond throwing something in the bin.

"Residents often don't think about the people who collect and handle their rubbish - it's very much throw and forget. But the reality is that it's people like themselves who are getting injured; fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts and siblings."

Don Makea, Enviroway branch manager Auckland, said: "We really care about our team and do our best to keep them out of harm's way. To have anyone injured as a result of someone else's thoughtlessness is upsetting."

- NZ Herald

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