Following the recent fatality of a waste collection operative working for SITA UK on the Cotswold contract in Fairford, SITA UK has consulted extensively with the Health and Safety Executive with regard to overloaded waste bins.
The Council’s waste collection policy has always stated that bins will not be emptied if the lids aren’t completely closed and any additional waste placed on-top of the bin will not be collected. However, we are aware that there may have been some occasions when collection operatives have emptied overloaded bins, putting themselves at serious risk of injury.
The bin lid has to be closed to allow a collection operative to see the lifting equipment at the back of the collection vehicle. If this is obscured, there is a real risk that the bin won’t attach properly and could fall from the lifting equipment, which would seriously jeopardise the safety of the collection operative and/or a member of the public passing by.
With effect from Wednesday 2nd June, SITA will not collect any grey (non-recyclable) and green (garden waste) bins with unclosed lids. The same will apply to black bags or garden waste left by the side of bins (side waste) or resting on top of bins (known as ‘top-hatting’).
When SITA operatives encounter overloaded bins or non-regulation side waste, they will place tags on offending loads to clarify why the collection has not been made and also provide advice and contact numbers to help householders address the problem.
The Council can supply – free of charge – additional recycling boxes, cardboard sacks and kitchen caddies to help residents reduce their waste and prevent overloading.
If there are occasions when residents need to dispose of additional non-recyclable waste due to a special event such as a family party or house move, then they can purchase additional beige bags, which are sold at a cost of £1 each, in rolls of 10 or 25 from the Council offices in Trinity Road, Cirencester, and the Moreton Area Centre. Alternatively, non-recyclable waste can also be taken to the nearest Household Recycling Centre (tip).
The Council has a duty of care to SITA’s employees and therefore must support SITA in their refresh of this existing policy and accept that overloaded bins will not be collected.