An assessment of the health and safety costs and benefits of manual vs automated waste collections.

There is a measurable health and safety cost to individuals, communities, waste operators, territorial authorities and New Zealand society attributable to waste collection services.

This project, commissioned by the WasteMINZ Health and Safety Sector Group is a desktop assessment of the comparative benefits and costs of two primary methods for collecting domestic refuse and recyclable materials – namely ‘manual’ (‘loose’ or ‘bag’) versus ‘automated’ (‘bin’) collections. The emphasis is on comparing the health and safety impacts associated with these two collection methodologies, such as the costs arising from injuries incurred by collectors.

The purpose of this research is to compare the key issues and risks (including health and safety, contractual, political, technical/operational, logistical and economic issues) associated with different collection methodologies . It is confined to kerbside collection processes and the potential injuries to collection staff.

A review of this position report ‘An assessment of the health and safety costs and benefits of manual vs automated waste collections’ was undertaken by the WasteMINZ board during 2011. The purpose of the review was to ensure that the report met WasteMINZ’ objectives of publishing relevant, good quality, well researched reports that are balanced and unbiased.

The original report’s conclusions are unchanged following the review.