During this time, “essential personnel” brings to mind doctors, nurses and first responders. However, there are other frontline workers who are directly fighting the spread of COVID-19: solid waste collection drivers and waste processing employees.
These employees play a critical role in ensuring communities stay healthy as they move from house to house to collect waste and recycle, compost or dispose of waste products. In light of that, Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) highlighted some tips communities should keep in mind in order to keep these critical service employees safe:
- Bag All Landfill Trash: By bagging trash, especially items like used tissues, it is easier to keep viruses and bacteria away from critical service employees.
- Keep All Recycling Clean and Loose: When recycling is loose, it is easier to handle on TDS’ sorting line. Removing food and liquid residue from recyclables minimizes viruses and bacteria as well.
- Empty All Liquids: Liquids can carry viruses and bacteria and can splash onto drivers when trash and recyclables are emptied. When bottles, cans and other containers are emptied before going in carts, the risk is minimized.
- Wipe/Disinfect Cart Handles and Lids: The two main touch points on a cart for drivers are the lid and the handles. Wiping those areas down with disinfectant or soapy water minimizes the danger of shared contact areas.
- Seal and Mark All Sharps/Needles: Properly dispose of medical sharp objects such as syringes by placing them in a sealed, rigid plastic container. Seal the container in duct tape, clearly mark it as “Sharps” and place in the trash.
“As a key player for essential sanitation and hygiene services, Texas Disposal Systems serves a critical role in ensuring our communities stay healthy,” said Bob Gregory, TDS president and CEO, in a statement. “Our employees collect waste, recyclables and compostables and manage it in a proper manner. The safety of our employees, their families, our neighbors, our customers and our community at large are the highest priority for our company.”