Public Health advice regarding household waste (from Birmingham Public Health)

Birmingham Public Health understand the concerns of Birmingham citizens about the accumulation of uncollected refuse on the streets.  

Piles of rubbish are unsightly, result in very unpleasant odours and can attract flies and rodents.

By following the advice below, the risk to public health will be kept low.  

Currently we have no evidence to indicate a rise in illness among local residents.

  • Good hygiene is important to reduce risk of becoming ill from bugs, in particular regular hand washing with soap and water.
  • Keep food preparation areas clean using a disinfectant, don’t leave food on surfaces at home unwrapped, including pet food and use bin lids as accumulated waste can attract flies
  • Use two bin bags, especially when preparing waste for taking outside as this reduces the risk of vermin breaking into bin bags.
  • In particular, ensure waste products such as nappies, sanitary towels and condoms are ‘double bagged’ for example put in a smaller bag first before placing in the household rubbish bin.
  • Use gloves if you pick up rubbish that has spilled into your driveway or street.
  • Take extra precaution with children who may be playing in areas near where rubbish has accumulated and especially if you notice exposed waste.
  • Where possible, keep wheelie bins / outside bins out of direct sunlight to reduce smells.  
  • If you or your child cuts themselves on waste in the street, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply a sterile adhesive dressing, such as a plaster.  For more information about how to deal with cuts visit NHS Choices. If there is a risk the wound could become infected or you think it is already infected call NHS 111 or visit your local walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or GP surgery or download the free ‘Ask NHS’ app for advice if you begin to feel unwell.
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