Rutherford Co. Improves Safety At Waste Centers After Worker Injured

Posted at 1:57 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 21:24:00-04

The solid waste department in Rutherford County has made changes to all 14 disposal centers after an employee was hurt during an incident.  

The 77-year-old disposal center attendant was severely injured when his legs were crushed between two vehicles.

One of the drivers was reportedly not paying attention when she drove up and pinned the employee against the other vehicle.

"He walked in between two vehicles and got caught in between a vehicle that was moving forward," Hannah Bleam of the Rutherford County Solid Waste Department told NewsChannel 5. 

Clarence Karcher said the hurt was tremendous but he's focusing his energy on getting back to work soon.

"I'm still sore and stuff, but I'm doing alright. When she backed off, luckily I was okay. I didn't pass but I could've died," Karcher said on the phone. 

The department has added a painted stop bar and stop signs. It has also planned to incorporate larger stop signs by the gate and vehicle awareness signs in the next coming weeks.

"We are requiring people to stop now. We have new STOP wait here signs just so people know they need to stop before they hit the painted bar," Bleam explained. "People would pull up, and we'd have three people getting out of their vehicle that weren't in between the compactors and walking up to them and disposing their trash."

Aside from inspecting that compactors have been working properly, attendants will need to help guide the flow of traffic. 

These centers have already been busy and these changes will only make traffic worse. Lines, especially at the Weakley Lane location, can reach the street. 

"There are so many people wanting to get in and out so quickly because it is so backed up, and there are so many people that it has caused issues," Smyrna resident Hafsa Abed said. 

Aside from Murfreesboro, cities in the county do not provide trash pickup. Officials have asked for residents to come at different times so the weekends don't get too packed. They also asked for everyone to patient. 

"We have received a lot of calls about the changes because people aren't used to the wait line getting even longer than it already was," Bleam added. 

Residents can always hire a private business to pick up trash.

In 2016, the county disposed of 42,000 tons of trash.