Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is disappointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to include waste and recycling workers in Phase 1c of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan opposed to Phase 1b as requested by NWRA and its member companies. As states move to formalize vaccine distribution, many states such as Michigan and Arizona are including waste and recycling workers in Phase 1b. NWRA will continue to work with all 50 states on this issue.
“NWRA urges more states to follow the lead of Michigan and Arizona in prioritizing this critical industry that is essential to preventing the spread of disease and illness in society. The delivery of these services impacts all healthcare, residential, commercial and industrial properties on a daily basis, necessitating them to receive prioritization,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “Modern society cannot function without an efficient waste removal operation.”
NWRA has consistently advocated for the waste and recycling industry to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as our workers have remained working on the frontlines during the pandemic.
During this national emergency, at the request of NWRA, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Administration classified waste collection workers as “essential” under five different “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” categories. Waste and Recycling workers were also placed on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s COVID-19 vaccine priority list in response to a request from the Association.
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.