Warning to dangerous drivers as Bristol Waste staff end up in hospital

  • Watch as rubbish collectors are driven into by impatient drivers.

Bristol Waste has warned drivers to be patient, after footage emerged of several near misses and cars driving into rubbish collectors.

Two members of staff were hospitalised last year and there were 21 reports of dangerous driving. Cameras attached to bin lorries show the scale of the problem.

Staff said they experienced some form of aggression every day. It ranges from shouting and swearing, to physical pushing and even - in some cases - rocks being thrown at them.

Wayne Boyce has worked for Bristol Waste for a decade and a few weeks ago he had a close call. 

He said: "I was putting boxes on and a motorbike mounted the pavement at speed and just went past I thought did that just happen? You’ve got to be on alert. I had to get right in with the lorry or I’d still be off work now probably."

Mr Boyce added that he worries for other people around him.

Mason Gill-Watkins, Luigi Viviano and Wayne Boyce want people to be patient with rubbish collectors.

He said: "Imagine if there was a child walking down with his mum or dad or a little old lady or something. It’s unfair I think."

Mason Gill-Watkins joined the team a year before the pandemic. He said attitudes had changed since then.

He said: "From when the pandemic hit they were supportive, motivating now people get more aggressive. They just want to get to work or we’re in the way so it’s depressing really.

"If we’re in the way they get out of their car abusing you, shouting, swearing at you, trying to intimidate us just to move out the way for a two-second road and it’s just not nice."

The crews make more than 17 million waste and recycling collections a year to keep the city's streets clean. They've asked people to be patient while they do their jobs as safely as possible.