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Garbage collection rule changes in Hamilton are focused on employee safety

Residents not in compliance with new garbage rules will first get an 'oops' sticker on their container, followed by a letter and then an educational visit from waste collection staff. Don Mitchell / Global News

Rest easy, if your garbage cans have removable or hinged lids.

Hamilton’s acting general manager of public works says changes to waste collection rules, approved by city council on Wednesday, are about ensuring that employees can safely empty containers.

“We are not banning removable lids, we are not banning flippable lids,” says Craig Murdoch, “they just have to be flippable or removable to allow waste collectors to access the material within.”

Read more: Hamilton, Ont. to endure $3M increase in waste collection costs

The rule changes indicate that garbage can lids must be easily removable, and Murdoch says they are meant to protect city employees from injury.

“Sometimes people put multiple bungee cords over their garbage lids,” says Murdoch, “or they’ve sprung them so tightly that they could snap back and strike a waste collection operator.

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“This is just to make sure they are not obstructed in their ability to collect the garbage, or put at risk.”

Read more: City of Hamilton, waste collectors find common ground

The new rules also specify that bins be no more than 91 centimetres, or three feet, in height, and they set a maximum diameter of 61 centimetres.

Violations carry a potential fine of $300, however staff stress that type of enforcement would be a last resort.

Residents not in compliance with the policy will first get an “oops” sticker on their container, followed by a letter and then an educational visit from waste collection staff.

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