Waste worry a risk to workers

AlburyCity, waste contractor Cleanaway and the EPA have joined forces to keep dangerous materials out of our bins.

They’re reminding residents and business owners that hazardous waste must not be placed in yellow, red or green-lidded bins because it can cause serious harm to the people involved in transferring or processing the material.

Items such as paints, batteries and fluorescent tubes and globes contain poisons or acids that can  hurt people, animals or the environment, while gas bottles and oils present a serious risk of fire or explosion.

AlburyCity’s Team Leader of Waste Management, Andrea Baldwin, said the dangers can be avoided if people simply ensure they don’t place the wrong materials into their bins.

“It’s easy to dump these items in the bin and forget about them but the reality is that people working with your bins could be seriously injured or even killed if the bins contain dangerous materials,” she said.

“We ask people to think before they bin it – and to remember that these dangerous goods can instead be delivered for free to our Community Recycling Centre at the Albury Waste Management Centre.”
Cleanaway driver Glen Smith said careless disposal of this type of waste presented a very real risk.

“When we collect and sort through household recycling and organics bins we’re vulnerable to burns or poisoning from substances such as acid, mercury or lead if the wrong items are placed in those bins,” he said.

“But that risk can be eliminated by people doing the right thing at the disposal point. If you don’t place hazardous waste in your bins, it can’t harm people, cause an explosion or contaminate our landfill sites.”

A joint initiative of Albury City and the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, this awareness campaign aims to enlist the community’s support by encouraging people to recycle hazardous waste responsibly and prevent waste from becoming a danger.