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News Release

Durham Region reminds residents to protect waste collection workers

WHITBY, ON January 22, 2015

The Regional Municipality of Durham, Works Department would like to remind residents to keep the health and safety of waste collection operators in mind when they dispose of their waste.

“Waste collection operators have a dangerous job—let’s do what we can to help make it safer,” says Mirka Januszkiewicz, Director of Waste Management. “A waste collection operator could be severely injured when picking up an unmarked garbage bag containing large pieces of broken glass. We’re asking residents to ensure that their waste does not pose a hazard to anyone.”

For the protection of the operators, all waste set out for collection must be in compliance with the Region’s Waste Management By-law. When setting out broken glass, please:

  • Separate broken glass from other waste.
  • Seal broken glass inside a securely taped cardboard box.
  • Mark the box as “GLASS” in large, bold letters.

“Sharps” items—objects that can cut skin and come in contact with bodily fluids, such as hypodermic needles, syringes, EpiPens or lancets—can also pose a serious hazard to waste collection operators. These items should be placed in puncture-resistant, non-breakable plastic/metal containers with a tight fitting lid (such as a bleach container). The container should then be labelled “SHARPS” with a black marker, in large letters, to alert staff, and taken to a Regional Waste Management Facility for disposal. Sharps must never be disposed of in the garbage or recycling and do not receive curbside pickup.

Please note: Garbage collection for Oshawa and Whitby residents is the responsibility of the individual municipalities, rather than the Region of Durham. These residents are asked to check their waste calendars, or contact their local municipality, regarding the proper disposal of broken glass and sharps.

For more information on the proper disposal of waste, the Region’s Waste Management By-law, or for the locations of Durham Region’s Waste Management Facilities, please visit www.durham.ca/waste, email waste@durham.ca, or call 905-579-5264 (toll-free at 1-800-667-5671).

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.