Wheelie Bin Danger
HANDLING rubbish that has been left out for a fortnight before being collected can increase the risk of health problems including asthma and nausea, a study has found, writes Steven Swinford.
Researchers found that the level of bacteria and fungal spores in the air above bins that had not been emptied for two weeks was more than 10 times that in locations where there was a weekly collection.
The findings come amid concerns about the public health risks of cutting collections. More than 140 councils in England have moved to fortnightly emptying to encourage recycling and cut costs, despite warnings of an increase in rat and insect infestation.
The spread of fortnightly collections has also raised fears about fly-tipping. Government figures show incidents rose by over 10% last year.
And it is not just the binmen who are exposed, as you try to squeeze the last bags of rubbish into your bin it forces the rancid air from the bottom out, straight into your face. But than that rubbish collection was a public health measure has long been forgotten.