Special new bins have cut risks faced by staff at Halewood International bottling factory in Huyton. The containers, developed in partnership with recycling firm Berryman, are designed so that staff do not risk coming into contact with broken glass after it is discarded.
Previously, broken bottles from the filling line would be placed in small plastic bins. When these were full, operators would lift them and empty the glass into open-topped bins. These were taken outside and tipped into skips.
"This process was potentially hazardous and exposed, as all the glass was being mixed with general refuse in expensive skips outside," a spokesman for Berryman explained.
The new method sees workers placing broken bottles in wheeled bins with lids. When full, these are wheeled away and a fork lift truck empties them into a Berryman recycling skip.
The change came out of efforts to improve recycling made by Berryman, its partner, bottle maker Rockware Glass, and Halewood, which imports and bottles a range of wines and alcoholic drinks. The glass is collected by Berryman and recycled at its Knottingley plant in West Yorkshire. Bottle maker Rockware Glass uses the recycled cullet to make new containers, and these are supplied to Halewood.
Mick Huddlestone of Rockware worked closely with Halewood to train filling-line personnel in the new system. He said: "We felt that it was important not to dwell on the faults of the previous systems, but to include the new system as part of the general health and safety training of the plant.
"We explained the background to the project, and why we had designed a new system to improve handling as well as increase recycling. Staff really appreciate the improvement and its value to the company."
A spokesman for Berryman said: "This 'partnership' approach is creating significant savings for Halewood and providing Berryman and Rockware with high quality glass cullet."