How coronavirus is disrupting US waste and recycling
The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked the global economy and brought sweeping changes to the United States in recent months. The waste and recycling industry’s essential public health role means it must continue operating, even as hundreds of workers have become ill with the virus. Worker safety resources are available from OSHA, SWANA, NWRA and ISRI.
Many companies, including the industry’s largest players, are experiencing financial challenges. Some have laid off employees as a result, and public sector service providers could face similar pressures in the future. Smaller service providers that qualify have received funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, though no concrete data is available on how many. Staffing limitations, volume shifts and social distancing requirements have caused operational changes across many areas in recent months. Numerous curbside recycling programs have been suspended, container redemption requirements have been waived in most states with bottle bills and other environmental policies are changing.
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].
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