SWANA Issues Update of 2021 Worker Shortage White Paper

Worker Shortage White Paper Cover

Timely report addresses ongoing collection delays and other challenges facing solid waste employers

Silver Spring, MD - The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has issued an updated version of its 2021 publication Let’s Work Together: Addressing the Labor Shortage in Solid Waste Collection Services. The report has been revised to reflect changes in the labor market since its previous publication. The white paper provides analysis of the challenges facing solid waste employers and some suggestions for short and long-term solutions.

More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many solid waste employers continue to struggle with employee shortages in meeting customers’ service needs and contractual obligations. Ongoing competition with employers in other industries and pressure to increase wages now heightened by US economic conditions contributed to substantial delays in collection services in many US communities during Spring/Summer 2022.

“This update comes at a crucial time. Many communities are still facing missed pickups and collection delays. Public and private sector waste and recycling collection service providers are having difficulty providing services at pre-COVID 19 levels,” stated David Biderman, SWANA CEO and executive director. “We are proud to offer this report and the guidance it provides to municipal solid waste agencies and private sector companies.”

SWANA’s new 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, Forward, Together, includes improving the attractiveness of the industry to prospective employees as a primary goal.

Download the 2022 publication of Let’s Work Together: Addressing the Labor Shortage in Solid Waste Collection Services here.


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.

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