Biffa Waste Services health and safety support manager Ray Hipkin said that binmen rushing to finish their rounds caused 30% of all accidents in collections.
These accidents were normally trips and falls and, it was suggested,often happened when staff jumped from moving vehicles.
Refuse collectors typically have a given number of bins to collect within their shift, and once this is done they can go home.
However, Hipkin added: "If you look at the number of properties per round, in the 1990s it was about 800 and task and finish meant they were finished by around 2.30 pm. More properties were added to the rounds but staff still wanted to finish early.
There are now as many as 2-3000 properties per round and the men are still finishing at 2.30 pm."
The recycling and waste management industry has the worst health and safety record in the UK, with an accident rate forty times the national average.
Hipkin said that improving health and safety required a big culture change, as the public would be unwilling to pay more council tax for an alternative to the task and finish system of collection.
Hipkin made his comments at the Vehicles and Plant Technology conference at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull.
In reaction to Hipkin's plea for a move away from task and finish, delegates stated that it could create recruitment problems for the industry, as finishing early is one of the main perks for refuse collectors in a job that is not necessarily well paid.