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Wrap it before you trash it

1 November, 2016

Wrap it before you trash it

In the last two years more than 80 Auckland rubbish collectors have been seriously injured on the job by dangerous items thrown away by residents.

This November, Auckland Council and EnviroNZ are teaming up on a campaign to encourage Manukau residents to ensure dangerous rubbish is safely disposed of.

While all Auckland residents should take care to properly wrap sharp objects – such as broken glass, plates and knives – the campaign is aimed at South Auckland, the only area where non-standard black bin liners are still used, which can often be made of flimsier material than the toughened plastic counterparts.

This means sharp objects have more chance of piercing or ripping through the bag, causing harm to those that collect them.

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.

Ian Stupple, Auckland Council’s General Manager – Waste Solutions, says that health and safety is a priority for the council but too often people don’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,” he says.

Don Makea, Enviroway Branch Manager Auckland, says keeping staff safe is of utmost importance.

“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.”

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


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