These pages explain what HSE is doing to tackle key issues as well as providing access to a range of information about health and safety for the waste management and recycling industries.
Research for the HSE 'Mapping health and safety standards in the UK waste industry' indicates that there are currently around 162,500 people employed in the Waste Management industry. Many more are employed in other activities associated with specific recyclables and ancillary activities such as transportation.
The UK is committed to increasing the amount of materials recycled and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. Consequently, the numbers employed in these industries, with the quantity and range of materials handled and recycled being likely to rise.
Waste management activities include a multitude of activities, including:
'Mapping health and safety standards in the UK waste industry'1, a report of a research project carried out by Bomel Limited for HSE shows that, in 2001-02,
The incidents predominantly occur to refuse/recycling collection workers who manually handle and sort waste.
The diagrams below are only intended as an indication of the industry statistics and caution is to be exercised in their interpretation.
Statistical data on health issues within the waste industry is currently unreliable, and research continues. However, health concerns include:
Sources used for the graphs above:-