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Calgary – Refuse Collectors with the City of Calgary want to do something about the high cost of waste management.

Approximately half a million dollars is spent annually by the City because of workplace accidents. Every year over 2000 working days are lost because of injury suffered by the City’s refuse collectors.

We are talking about ten lost years,” says CUPE Local 37 President, Dan Donohue. “Out of 208 collection days per year, the City is paying for over 2000 lost working days in replacement wages and Workers’ Compensation costs. The real shame is that these accidents could be prevented,” he said.

Last March, City Council passed new by-laws restricting the weight for household garbage pick-up and limiting the size of garbage containers. “We commend the City on passing these new by-laws. However, our members are saying loud and clear that not enough people know about the new rules. Accidents from heavy lifting continue at an alarming rate,” he added.

In releasing the figures on accident and injury suffered by the City’s refuse collectors, CUPE is calling on the people of Calgary to help out. The union is launching a public awareness campaign urging residents to call City Hall and ask elected officials to do more to get the word out.

The people of Calgary have told us that garbage collection is one of the top rated services in the City. We are confident that residents will want to help their refuse collectors make it safely through the day,” said Donohue.

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CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPE’s 31,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and now casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information cupe.ca and cupealberta.ca

For further information:
Pam Beattie, CUPE Communications (780) 288-1230 (cellular)