“Our drivers, Tim and Troy, are part of Emterra’s dedicated group of employees throughout the country. They are a clear example how – when residents of a community come together to understand their role - we can serve that community more efficiently and safely” says Paulina Leung, Manager of Business Development for Emterra Group.
What people often don’t think about, as the article points out, is that the work can be dangerous in many ways. Waste collection happens in virtually all weather, on blistery winter days and through extreme heat. Operators must be well prepared for the elements. Also, “the yellow jacket’s can get awful, you get stung all the time”, says Beaton. Perhaps most surprising, though, is that route operators often get cut from the contents of what residents put in the garbage bags, often requiring stitches. Everything from knives to broken glass that is not adequately shielded within the bag proves dangerous. The pace of collection has to be swift, and it is nearly impossible to handle each bag with extreme caution.
Also, enforcing Niagara Region’s bag limits is sometimes difficult, as any garbage put out over the limit and not properly tagged will not be removed. In some cases, residents can get upset and “vent” on the drivers, who are doing their job.
What can residents do to help Tim and Troy and waste collectors across the country remain safe and healthy in the workplace? Work together as a team and realize that it is a tough and sometimes dangerous job – as most residents already do.
Indeed, safe waste collection is a community effort and Emterra team members are virtually always local residents, too. Getting a little help from neighbouring residents on collection day is a great way to contribute to a safe pickup for those carrying out this “dirty job”.
As a Canadian leader in waste diversion and recycling for 35 years, the Emterra Group (www.emterra.ca) of companies continue to innovate and establish partnerships for greener, healthier communities as part of their “zero waste” mission. Emterra Group companies operate in communities across Canada.