SWANA encourages the industry to recognize waste and recycling workers
Waste and Recycling Workers Week takes place annually the week of June 17
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) emphasizes the importance of recognizing and appreciating solid waste and recycling workers for their valuable contributions to protect human health and the environment.
The week of June 17, Waste and Recycling Workers Week reminds the public to thank all those in the solid waste and recycling industry for their dedication and hard work.
"Perhaps more than ever, we urge everyone to be thankful to waste and recycling workers for the amazing job they are doing keeping communities and neighborhoods safe and clean during the COVID pandemic," stated David Biderman, SWANA's Executive Director and CEO. "Despite the significant changes over the past few months in waste and recycling generation, and concerns over exposure, local governments, private haulers, recycling facilities, and large companies have all worked well managing America's discarded materials. I salute the industry for rising to the challenge," added Biderman.
The importance of solid waste and recycling workers has never been clearer than during these unprecedented times. As essential critical infrastructure workers, the men and women of this industry have been continuing their jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of their hard work and sacrifice, SWANA is collaborating with Glad to support sanitation workers across the United States and Canada personally affected by COVID-19 through the Sanitation Workers Support Fund (Fund). The Fund is providing financial assistance to eligible front-line solid waste and recycling collection workers in the United States and Canada adversely impacted by COVID-19.
"The solid waste industry is considered essential, and its workers have been on the front line, without failure, making sure waste is collected and disposed of since the onset of COVID-19. This fund is an important recognition of their contribution to our communities, and is a way of providing support when they are personally impacted by the pandemic," stated Suzanne Sturgeon, Health & Safety Program Manager for SCS Field Services and SWANA Safety Committee Chair.
The best way to honor Waste and Recycling Workers Week is to ensure that every worker gets home safely every day. That is why SWANA is sending members daily safety resources the week of June 17 in conjunction with National Safety Month. Daily safety tips are also posted on SWANA's social media every day during the entire month of June. Workplace safety is one of the important topics being discussed at SWANA's virtual SWANApalooza online from June 22-25. Sessions will also include the latest industry trends, best practices, and networking to help industry leaders navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support solid waste and recycling collection workers, we encourage the public to put a sign of thanks on their bins. Share the appreciation you receive or show your thanks using the hashtag #TrashDayThanks.
For more information on Waste and Recycling Workers Week and how to say thanks, visit https://www.wasterecyclingworkersweek.org/.
Virtual SWANApalooza courses available
"Are Your Workers Safe?" OSHA, SWANA and NWRA—Working Together to Improve Safety and Health and Build a Better Work Environment
Wednesday, June 24, 2020: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's Regional Administrator for the Southeastern US, will describe how OSHA, NWRA, and SWANA members can work together to improve the industry's safety record. Mr. Petermeyer will discuss OSHA's role in protecting workers, industry injury and fatality statistics, fundamentals in maintaining sound safety and health programs, and the goals and activities under the September 2019 Alliance agreement signed between OSHA, SWANA and the NWRA, describing how the waste industry and government are working together to ensure a safe workplace. He also will describe some of OSHA's priorities and areas of strategic interest.
Virtual SWANApalooza, going live the week of June 22-25, will be a combination of livestreamed keynote presentations, pre-recorded technical presentations, livestreamed discussions and briefings, video chats, chat box forums, and an interactive exhibit site.