CEO Column

March 26, 2020


The past few weeks have been challenging ones for SWANA members and staff as we adjust our lives and work in response to the current public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus. First and foremost, I hope each of you, your families, and co-workers, are safe, healthy and hopeful. I salute the work you continue to do and remind everybody, we will get through this.

Even as our work has changed, #TeamSWANA has transitioned smoothly to teleworking.  We did it originally because it seemed like the best protection for staff members. That decision became a mandate a week later, when Maryland Governor Larry Hogan closed non-essential businesses.  No matter where we are working from, the work of this great association continues. 

We unveiled a new SWANA logo and website on the same day most of TeamSWANA began working from home.  Each of the Technical Divisions is holding calls instead of the meetings that were scheduled to take place at SWANApalooza in Atlanta.  We’re working on rescheduling and will share more about that as know more. We issued a Call for Speakers  for WASTECON 2020 in December. Fittingly, the theme is “Embracing Disruption,” which now seems even more timely than it did when created.  We continue to interface with members, local, state, and federal officials, and the media concerning the evolving impact of COVID-19 on the solid waste sector. 

I am particularly proud of the amount and high quality of the resources that SWANA has provided to its members concerning the COVID-19 situation, including important health and safety information and timely updates on federal guidance identifying your work as “critical essential infrastructure.” These resources are on the new SWANA SWANA Coronavirus webpage webpage and discussed below.

Although we are in uncharted territory in terms of the current public health crisis, what remains unchanged is SWANA’s role as a critical provider of useful and timely information to the industry. We have received many emails from members thanking us for providing COVID-19 information.  We will continue to update the website and provide new information to you as needed.

SWANA is much more than our physical location in Silver Spring, which we hope to return to soon. It’s a community of talented solid waste professionals and leaders that we are proud to support. We look forward to getting together with you soon, whether in Atlanta, Dallas, or at a chapter event, and to celebrating the end of this difficult time.