Smaller recycling bins 'to cut staff bad backs and fatigue'

Recycling Image copyright South Lakeland District Council
Image caption The council said it was following national guidance issued by the HSE

Recycling boxes in south Cumbria have been reduced in size to stop bin collectors getting back pain and becoming too tired.

South Lakeland District Council is now phasing out 55-litre boxes - used for paper, card and glass - and replacing them with 44-litre containers.

The authority wants to cut the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and reduce "staff fatigue".

The council said it was following Health and Safety Executive guidelines.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) - injury, damage or disorder of the joints or other tissues in the limbs or the back - are a frequent cause of absence among council staff, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A council spokesman said: "This has been identified as a way to reduce the potential risk of MSDs.

"There is now clear evidence associated with the risk factors of the weight and frequency of manual handling of 55-litre boxes.

"The 44-litre boxes are the same length and breadth as the 55-litre boxes and should be capable of fulfilling households' needs."

Any resident requesting a new box are now getting the 44-litre version instead of the bigger one.

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