- The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) has released a new white paper to help businesses better understand how they're being categorized in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) when looking at federal data.
- Six codes cover the core waste and recycling industry businesses: 562111 Solid Waste Collection, 562119 Other Waste Collection, 562212 Solid Waste Landfill, 562213 Solid Waste Combustors and Incinerator, 562219 Other Nonhazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal, and 562920 Materials Recovery Facilities.
- Supportive and ancillary operations — such as Corporate, Subsidiary, and Regional Managing Offices or Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal –— are categorized using different codes.
These codes are useful when looking at overall employment demographics and are also commonly used to analyze safety trends. NWRA offers advice to businesses trying to determine their own codes such as figuring out whether operations are occurring in separate locations and which function they are "primarily engaged" in among the services they provide. It's not uncommon for businesses to have a variety of operations happening on the same site and this could complicate results if not analyzed correctly.
On the safety side, it's important to understand NAICS codes because the industry often gets painted with a broad brush. This can be an issue when trying to interpret data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Questions of how occupations compare on a local or national level can become complicated without taking this into account.
BLS recently released 2015 data on the overall "waste management and remediation" sector — NAICS Code 562 — that showed slight progress on decreasing rates of short-term, non-fatal injuries. Within those numbers, and other 2015 data expected to come out by the end of the year, there will be a lot to learn about where the most progress needs to be made on improving the safety of particular jobs within the industry.