Coronavirus continues to disrupt waste and recycling service around the US

This rapidly evolving crisis is having new ripple effects every day — service disruptions, facility closures, volume shifts and more. Stay informed with our regular updates.

Editor’s note: Waste Dive regularly tracked news coverage of pandemic effects on U.S. waste and recycling operations for one year. As of March 15, 2021, this page has been archived and will no longer be updated.

Starting in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shocked the global economy and brought sweeping changes to the United States. The waste and recycling industry’s essential public health role meant it had to operate throughout, even as thousands of workers were affected by the virus. Worker safety resources are available from OSHA, SWANA, NWRA and ISRI.

After hitting bottom in the second quarter, business activity gradually began recovering but long-term effects persist. Some smaller service providers received funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Staffing limitations, volume shifts and social distancing requirements caused operational changes across many areas. Numerous curbside recycling programs were suspended and other environmental policies were delayed or changed.

Click on the dropdown menu below to view regular updates, organized by date, from March 2020 to March 2021.