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SWANA's COVID-19 Resources

May 7, 2020 by Nikki King

At times like this, it can be tough to stay on track and motivated. SWANA wants to ease the stress of the unknown as much as possible. For the sake of our members and everyone in the community, SWANA has a coronavirus resource tab on our website to access all coronavirus guidance and tips we have put together for your reference. 

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have vowed to keep our essential industry workers safe. We have strived to be an advocate and voice for industry workers who continue to put themselves at risk every day, including providing documentation for our members to use to identify as “essential critical infrastructure” workers. Other resources speak to offering the public common knowledge about the virus and gives employers a guide to follow with their employees in order to stay safe. 

For those at home, please continue to help and show support to those on the front lines of the solid waste industry. There are things you can do to ease the stress of our collection workers every day. Continue to practice recycling right at home and be conscientious in rinsing and drying cans and bottles before placing them in the bin. Keep in mind medical waste and sanitary materials should NEVER be recycled, rather, they should be thrown away in the garbage. 

Similar habits should be implemented when it comes to residential trash practices. For optimal safety of collection workers, wash your hands before putting your waste containers out for collection. We also encourage you to sanitize handles and lids to further reduce exposure to be extra safe in stopping the spread. View the full guide here.

SWANA is collaborating with  Glad to support sanitation workers across the United States and Canada personally affected by COVID-19 through the Sanitation Workers Support Fund. Glad has generously provided $200,000 to the Fund, to be administered and distributed by SWANA.

Front-line solid waste and recycling collection workers will potentially qualify for assistance if they: (1) have tested positive for COVID-19; (2) were laid off because of COVID-19 and continue to be unemployed; or (3) if an immediate family member was a front-line solid waste or recycling collection worker and passed away as a result of the coronavirus. Individuals directly impacted by COVID-19 by testing positive for the coronavirus or who lost their job due to the coronavirus and are currently unemployed can receive US $500. Immediate family members (spouse or minor children) of a solid waste and recycling collection worker who died due to COVID-19 can receive US $2,500. For more information and to apply, visit our website.

We encourage our members to keep checking our coronavirus resources as we update them, and hopefully the solid waste industry, and the rest of the world, will be back to normal soon. 

If you have any comments, concerns, or recommendations, please reach out to Sarah Beidleman at sbeidleman@swana.org. We love to hear from and make connections with our members.

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