Picking up black bin bags is bad for your health

As rubbish piles up across the city because of the move to fortnightly collections, the Unite union says it is worried about injuries to its members.

It said binmen were currently dealing with extra bags left next to over flowing bins but warned this would not continue.

Today, the suggestion that bags of rubbish might not be lifted because of health and safety concerns was branded “daft” and “ridiculous” by politicians.

But the union defended its stance and said its members were at the sharp end of the current problems.

Unite senior shop steward Peter Lawson said: “We are looking at the health and safety side just now.

“There is of course the usual musculoskeletal issues associated with the handling of heavy and bulky bags.

“Some of the guys are dealing with the roadside rubbish in the short term.

“This is time limited however and will be revisited in the next two or three weeks. This can’t be a long term solution.”

He said the union wanted to appeal to the public not to hold frontline staff accountable for the problems as the change to collection days and shift patterns had a “significant impact” on them as well.

And he said staff did not have all the information on the changes to help the public.

“To expect them to be directly answerable to the public for any problems regarding these organisational changes is neither fair nor reasonable,” he added.

He added: “Our members have not received adequate tra rolex watches for sale ining from their employer in dealing with these matters.

Neither do they have information held by management regarding the impact of these changes in different parts of the city.”

The city council, which says it could take until the weekend to clear the backlog of rubbish which has seen one in ten bins go unemptied, said it was not aware of the health and safety concerns.

A spokeswoman said crews had been briefed extensively and had been provided with information to hand to members of the public. She also said many crews already handled bin bags as a matter of course.

Murrayfield Tory councillor, Jeremy Balfour, said he had been inundated with calls from angry residents and found the idea that bin me rolex watches for sale n would not lift black bags “ridiculous”.

“This seems ridiculous and it looks like these union members are just trying to get out of their obligations and shift the blame.

“I have not been made aware of any issues relating to health and safety.

“The whole handling of this has to be investigated and I will be raising the issue at council.”

Frances Durie, chair of West Pilton/Granton Community Council, said the health and safety argument was “daft”.

She said: “What about our health and safety with vermin running around? The communal bin store is right next door to my property and it is filled to the brim.

“Binmen should be just that and e rolex watches for sale mpty bins. We all pay plenty of council tax.”

The new fortnightly collections began last week in a bid to force residents to reduce the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill. The council said the problems had been caused by shift patterns for the bin crews changing and residents getting used to putting out their rubbish on the correct day.

Earlier this week, the council said while the new system was bedding in, it would allow bin crews to remove extra bags of rubbish, leading to the union’s concerns.

A council spokeswoman said: “Some properties in the city have always had a black bag waste collection and staff are trained in manual handling this is not a new issue.

“We have recycling advisers and route attendants operating in the areas where we are carrying out collections who are trained to provide information and advice to the public, minimising the need for crews to engage with public queries.

“Crews rolex watches for sale have been briefed extensively on how to deal with any situations that may arise.”

The city’s environment leader Councillor Lesley Hinds, added: “This is a massive change for the public and staff and I thank them for their continued support while we implement these changes.

Picking up an anti

When Lilio Aragones goes out picking up trash on a Saturday morning in Northwest Portland, she makes sure she looks good. Ball cap from the tony Mission Ranch in Carmel; North Face jacket; nice shoes.

A flight attendant with Delta Airlines, the Northwest Hills resident has been picking up trash, unasked, for decades, first in Hollywood, Calif., while growing up, and now in Northwest Portland around Trader Joe

dress so people don think I homeless, Aragones says with a chuckle, as she wrestles with one of a dozen cigarette butts with her trash grabbing stick. She moves at a steady pace, not bothering much with the Sisyphean task of the butts, rather going for the big game: bags, bottles and printed matter.

She does it simply because she loves Portland and wants to keep it pretty.

can people be so disrespectful? Aragones asks of the litter bugs. come to the conclusion it the same people over and over. The average person is more considerate, certainly here in Portland.

Much of the credit for our anti litter ethic surely goes to SOLVE, the environmental cleanup organization formed in 1969 under Gov. Tom McCall as Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism. The group, which later added an E at the end of its name for simplicity sake, is celebrating three anniversaries this year: the 25th year of its Earth Day cleanups in urban areas, called SOLVE IT; its 30th year of doing beach cleanups on the Oregon Coast; and the 45th year since its founding.

Twice a month, Northwest District Association members Phil Selinger and Rob Fullmer organize two different volunteer trash pickups. The bags are provided by SOLVE, which sends armies of citizens to Oregon 427 miles of coastline twice a year to pick up trash.

In 1990, SOLV IT was created to clean up Portland area neighborhoods and address the problem of illegal dumpsites. It became the largest Earth Day cleanup in the United States.

is a remarkable holdover from the days of Tom McCall; it a child of the bottle bill, says Jack McGowan. rolex watches for sale He and his wife, Jan, ran SOLVE for two decades from Hillsboro, before moving into semi retirement in Bend. wanted to create a volunteer spirit in Oregon, McGowan says. could not stand armchair quarterbacks. D rolex watches for sale on just complain, do something.

McGowan was a TV reporter with KGW when he took over SOLV in 1990. box and $12,000 in the bank. It expanded into wetlands and river restoration, as well as fighting illegal dumping all over the state.

Part of the success of SOLVE is what McGowan calls care and feeding of volunteers the spiritual feeding of how they feel about themselves and their community. The person who throws a fast food wrapper from a car, that no subconscious thing, it a choice.

SOLVE IT volunteers pulled out around 50,000 dumped tires in the tricounty area in his day. Dumping still goes on. He knows where old mattresses, appliances, couches and pesticides get tossed down ravines in the Mt. Hood National Forest.

McGowan worries about the coast: ships dumping their trash in Oregon waters and billions of plastic pellets called nurdles washing up on the sand.

Angela Stewart is an interpretive park ranger based at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, in Southern Oregon. She been involved with SOLVE since 1986, and has noticed how on some beaches, even pristine ones like Harris, she sees pulverized plastic falling through her fingers with the sand.

not just an event; it instilled in Oregonians, she says. I take school kids on a tide pool walk, on the way back I hand out bags and ask if they clean up. I never had one say no.

Stewart turns in water bottles for the deposit, using the money for the Junior Ranger program. It only education and peer pressure that can change the situation. noticed that when someone does drop trash, people here will give them a rolex watches for sale scowl.

Don toss that, Don

There a scene in the TV drama Men where Don Draper and his picture perfect family have a picnic. As they head back to their car, Draper throws his beer can deep into the park like a football, and his wife shakes all their trash from the blanket on to the grass. ( Watch it at

It a head slapping moment from our perspective, the implication being people today would never do that. But, like smoking tobacco, littering still hangs on.

see a lot of fast food wrappers. People toss them from their cars, says Selinger, who patrols the area around Northwest Thurman Street and 23rd Avenue. Styrofoam popcorn. I think it blows out of the back of trucks without people noticing.

Other common finds are tissues, clothes and transit tickets. He has hauled many a tire out of the bushes along Skyline Road, a hot spot for surreptitious dumping. One time he found a half can of hydrochloric acid.

Selinger started o rolex watches for sale ut collecting trash on his own, but found he was self conscious and it was boring. So in 2008 he teamed with SOLVE and Food Front co op to make it a community event. After doing their hour, the eight or nine regulars get free snacks at Food Front and visit awhile. don know who show up. We had school groups as well as law violators, Selinger says.

Littering seems to be one of those low impact offenses that it takes thousands of people to commit, and hundreds to remedy. That could be why the SOLVE volunteer ethos is Oregon only chance of beating it.

On that bright Saturday morning near Elephant Deli, Lisa Hamilton was out with her daughter, Ruby McShane, and her West Sylvan Middle School friends Lilly and Hannah Kennedy. For the eighth graders, it was a school community service requirement, but they were totally enjoying themselves.

week we found some roadkill that Mom thought was a mop, McShane says.

found a real collection of things, a No. 10 bottle cap, a huge piece of glass, a penny, a cup, a tennis ball, a ticket . says Lilly Kennedy. She has her limits, though. won pick up dog poop or roadkill.