Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bin Collection Move Will Bring Benefits; Changes Will Improve Health and Safety

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bin Collection Move Will Bring Benefits; Changes Will Improve Health and Safety

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black

AMAJOR shake-up of bin collections across Northumberland will result in a safer service for refuse crews and the public, it is claimed.

Reducing potential road safety hazards and the risk of accidents has been a key issue in the reorganisation of refuse collection routes for the county's 155,000 households.

The shake-up - which is due to start next month - aims to deliver a more efficient and environmentally-friendly refuse service, as well as saving council taxpayers pounds 104,000 a year. Now county councillors have been told that the new routes will also improve health and safety for bin crews and the public.

Nationally, reversing refuse vehicles have been involved in a number of fatal and serious accidents, affecting both council workers themselves and members of the public.

The new collection routes in Northumberland have been designed - using special computer software - to minimise the potential risks facing refuse workers and drivers and pedestrians.

There will be single-sided working on all A roads so that binmen don't have to risk being hit by a vehicle while crossing a busy carriageway to empty bins.

The new routes have been drawn up to minimise the number of times refuse wagons have to reverse, so as to reduce the risk of them striking a crew member or passer-by.

In addition, local knowledge has been used to avoid putting bin wagons near schools during the busy morning and afternoon dropping off and picking up periods. The reorganisation, which will be phased in between next month and September, was yesterday approved by the county council executive.

Head of waste management, Paul Jones, said improving health and safety had been a key consideration when designing the new routes.

"A lot of people are killed or injured crossing behind refuse collection vehicles and being hit by cars. …

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