SWANA issues important documents for all essential industry workers


Letter and vehicle placard can be used by employees and contractors going to and from work

Silver Spring, MD – The Solid Waste Association of North America ( SWANA) has issued several important documents for members to use to identify themselves as “essential critical infrastructure” workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more states and cities issue emergency declarations limiting non-essential work and travel, these documents will allow solid waste and recycling workers and others to provide documentation demonstrating their exemption to law enforcement personnel and others  if necessary. The letter and vehicle placard cite the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) March 19, 2020 memo and applicable state and local emergency declarations.   

The letter is accompanied by a cover memo directed to employers instructing them on how to customize the letter and effectively distribute it to their employees.  SWANA recognizes in this unprecedented situation that clear communication with the public and state and local officials is vital to protecting worker and public safety.

“We have received calls and emails from waste haulers across the United States seeking guidance concerning how their workers will be able to demonstrate to law enforcement officials that their employees are considered essential. This letter, which is available on our website to both members and non-members, will assist haulers and others create a customized letter to provide to their workers.  This will be particularly helpful for when employees and contractors are going to or from work in their personal vehicles, stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO.

 Download the letter, memo, and placard here.

Additional guidance for the waste industry concerning the Coronavirus pandemic is available on SWANA’s website at


The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 60 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.

Media Contact

Andrea Lazo
Director of Marketing & Digital Communications
(240) 494-2235