COVID Rates Lower For Solid Waste Workers
As of early June, according to the CDC, more than twenty thousand new COVID cases are still occurring daily across the United States and the death rate is more than 1,000 per day.As an essential workforce that collects and manages the garbage generated by each and every person across North America, the question naturally arises as to how solid waste collection and management personnel have fared relative to that of the general populace. COVID’s Reach A survey was conducted of private solid waste haulers and facility owners to assess COVID rates in the United States and Canada. Conducted by the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), the survey encompassed nearly 100,000 employees across North America. This com- prised 35 percent of the approximately 248,000 solid waste collection and facility workers in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and 16 percent of the nearly 70,000 Ca- nadian solid waste personnel (EcoCanada). From the survey, there were 372 confirmed cases and 6 deaths for personnel in the United States and 20 confirmed cases and no deaths in Canada. Hospitalizations were also recorded. Nine states (IL, LA, MA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA) ac- counted for roughly 55 percent of all cases while the remain- ing states contributed from 3 percent to less than 1 percent (Cont’d on Page 7)
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4 June 22, 2020 Recycling Markets
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