Woman asks city to highlight trash-bin danger

2010-08-14T00:00:00Z 2010-08-14T20:17:04Z Woman asks city to highlight trash-bin dangerPhil Villarreal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 14, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Jennifer Schneider had never noticed the warning on her city garbage container lid: "Do not roll with lid open."

On Sunday morning, she wished she had seen it after accidentally stepping on the lid - which was dragging on the ground as she pushed the container forward - causing the bin to flip on top of her, lacerating her face and damaging nerves in her neck.

Now Schneider, 68 and a retired physician, is demanding that the city of Tucson Environmental Services Department make the warning more legible. She wants future plastic trash cans to feature warnings in larger and/or colored type.

"It's a very ineffective warning," said Schneider, who was cleaning up fallen mesquite tree seeds in her yard when she was injured. "I bet if you surveyed 100 people, 98 of them will have never seen it."

Schneider suffered two black eyes and a cut that required stitches above her nose. She said nerve damage in her neck has made it difficult to use her hands, which means her golden retriever, Gracie, had to go most of the week without a walk. When Schneider runs cold water over her hands, she said, it feels like a thousand tiny needles are poking her. Her whole body itches, and she has little energy, she added.

Schneider said she spoke to a friend who had suffered similar injuries when pushing his trash container with the lid open.

"I'm not out to complicate my life and make it miserable," Schneider said. "I just want people to understand the issue. My main concern as a physician is I don't want people to go through this out of ignorance."

Environmental Services Director Andrew Quigley said the department will consider highlighting or changing the warning and look into what the costs would be. The city buys garbage receptacles from Toter Inc.

Schneider said she declined to fill out a report and apply to have her medical expenses reimbursed by the city because she has good insurance.

Quigley said Schneider's complaint is the first he's heard on the matter, and he is considering her request.

"It's too early to tell," he said. "We did not say no."

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com

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