SWANA has a strong commitment to safety and is determined to help move the waste collection industry off of the federal government’s list of 10 most dangerous jobs and reduce accidents and injuries. SWANA's safety initiatives represent part of that effort.

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SWANA’s Safety Initiatives

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Free Face Coverings for Solid Waste and Recycling Industry

Jun 25, 2020, 10:52 AM by Sarah Beidleman

SWANA Collecting Orders for Fulfillment by FEMA, HHS

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is collecting orders online for cloth face coverings through July 17 on behalf of the entire U.S. solid waste and recycling industry. These face coverings will be available at no cost to companies and agencies in the industry.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with other federal partners, are distributing cloth face coverings at no cost to essential critical infrastructure workers in the United States and has asked SWANA to assist in the distribution.

“SWANA is thrilled to have been selected by the federal agencies to help distribute these face coverings to both private companies and municipal agencies,” stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. He added, “this is part of SWANA’s continuing safety focus on behalf of the entire solid waste industry, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Sanitation Workers Support Fund. I hope many employers in the industry, and particularly small haulers, take advantage of this opportunity to obtain free face coverings.”

The free cloth face coverings are intended for solid waste and recycling workers in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and other U.S. Territories, who do not need medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) for their daily work. Operations that support the industry, including equipment manufacturers, are also eligible to receive the face coverings. Many states and local governments are requiring or recommending facial coverings for essential workers.

The face coverings are 100% cotton and contain silver and copper, which FEMA says may help kill or stop the growth of viruses and germs. A minimum order of a single box containing 500 face coverings is required. Recipients are urged to share with others in the industry should they be unable to use all of the coverings provided.

Place your order before July 17 and learn more at

To learn more about SWANA and its work in the industry, visit

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