green city region

Serious assault highlights threat to staff at recycling centres

A serious assault on a member of staff at a Household Waste Recycling Centre, resulting in a badly broken jaw, has highlighted the regular threats of violence and verbal abuse workers suffer across Greater Manchester’s household recycling facilities.

The incident took place at a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in south Manchester last Thursday 19 December, when a HWRC operative was assaulted following a routine check on a member of the public's waste to establish its type.

The assault resulted in the victim’s jaw being broken in two places. Hospital treatment was required and surgery may still be needed - the member of staff has now been able to return home to recover.

Greater Manchester’s 20 HWRCs are operated by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Councillor Andrew Western, Green City Region Lead for the GMCA, said: “Staff across Greater Manchester’s HWRCs carry out a vital role in managing thousands of tonnes of our waste and helping residents make sure recycling is deposited correctly and responsibly.

"However, these hard-working people doing a difficult job regularly experience verbal abuse and threats of physical violence from members of the public. It is appalling that, sadly, hundreds of these incidents occur every year at our HWRCs. This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated, with legal action enforced if needs be.

“Unfortunately there are people who use waste recycling centres illegally, when they are designed specifically for Greater Manchester’s residents to dispose solely of domestic waste. Illegal use by traders is reducing recycling rates, pushing up running costs of HWRCs and could ultimately raise council tax charges; traders and businesses must remember to use a licensed trade waste facility with a weighbridge, arrange a commercial waste collection or hire a skip.”

Article Published: 24/12/2019 12:40 PM