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How coronavirus is disrupting US waste and recycling

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked the global economy and brought sweeping changes to the United States. The waste and recycling industry’s essential public health role means it must continue service, but changes are occurring by the day.

Worker safety resources are available from OSHA, SWANA, NWRA and ISRI. Service providers are changing guidelines, in many cases only collecting material from carts and suspending collection for bulky waste or yard waste. Curbside recycling programs have been suspended in approximately 30 municipalities, with many more drop-off sites closed. Policies around container redemption programs have been affected in eight of the 10 states with bottle bills, according to the Container Recycling Institute. Carryout bags policies have also been affected in multiple states.

We’ll be tracking the key developments as this pandemic unfolds for as long as it takes. Click on the dropdown menu below the latest entry to view information from prior weeks. Please send any feedback or tips to [email protected].