The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) participated in a press conference today in New York City, reminding New Yorkers to keep cyclists, pedestrians, and solid waste collection workers safe at night, especially after clocks “fall back” on Sunday, marking the end of Daylight Savings Time. New York City’s Dusk and Darkness initiative has been expanded this year to encompass Department of Sanitation and private sector solid waste collection employees.
SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman spoke at the press conference. Biderman stated: “The Sanitation and solid waste employees who collect these discarded materials face an increasing risk of being struck at night by another truck, a car, bicycle or other vehicles, and many solid waste collection workers report collisions or near-misses at night caused by speeding, inattentive, or perhaps drunk drivers throughout the five boroughs.” He noted SWANA’s Safety Ambassador in New York City, who is the Safety Director at Mr. T Carting, was struck and seriously injured by a car while working at night in Brooklyn in July 2022. He is still recovering from the broken ribs, bruises, and knee surgery resulting from this incident.
NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Y. Royster, Taxi & Limousine Commissioner David Do, Department of Citywide Administrative Services Deputy Commissioner Keith Kernan, and several elected officials also spoke at the press conference.
SWANA is committed to improving safety for the entire solid waste industry; especially for collection employees who suffer fatalities and collisions at a higher rate. SWANA’s Board of Directors recently approved a new Strategic Plan whose first goal is to get collection employees off the list of the ten most dangerous jobs in the United States. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, “refuse and recycling collection” workers have the sixth highest workplace fatality rate among all occupations.
SWANA will be holding its annual Safety Summit at WASTECON in San Diego on December 6–8, 2022.
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.