Chinese refuse collector dies after working long hours in freezing weather

Waste disposal worker who was forced to carry rubbish on his back after trolley broke collapses and dies at rubbish dump

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 3:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2018, 10:51am

A waste disposal worker in southwestern China has died after working long hours in freezing temperatures, according to local media reports.

Wu Jianhua, who had worked at a local waste station in Chengdu, Sichuan province for 14 years, was found unconscious at the site by a local resident on Sunday, thecover.cn reported.

He died while being taken to hospital by an ambulance.

He had been working since 5am that day and had to carry the rubbish on his back because the trolley he normally used was broken, Chen Yirong, a manager at Wu’s company told the website.

The 59-year-old had to clear two tonnes of refuse every day and worked two shifts – starting with an early morning shift and then resumed work in the afternoon – taking the waste out of residential and commercial buildings.

Chen said Wu had a medical every year and was believed to be healthy.

The cause of death has yet to be determined.

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Residents nearby said Wu was a diligent worker and was kind-hearted.

“He would come to work 5am every morning for the last 14 years without taking a day off,” said a security guard in the area surnamed Yu.

“No matter how tough his work was, he always offered to help the residents here.”

Wu’s death has triggered discussion online. A user on Sina Weibo questioned why Wu had to work such long hours.

Wu’s family members are now discussing compensation with his bosses.