• April 28, 2020 12:55 PM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    FROM:                  Jesse Maxwell, Advocacy & Safety Senior Manager, SWANA

    TO:                        SWANA Chapter Safety Ambassadors; Safety Committee

    DATE:                   April 27, 2020

    SUBJECT:             SWANA & Glad Sanitation Workers Support Fund


    SWANA today announced our partnership with Glad, maker of trash bags and plastic food storage containers, to establish a Sanitation Workers Support Fund to provide financial assistance to front-line solid waste and recycling collection workers in the United States and Canada adversely impacted by COVID-19. Glad has generously provided $200,000 to the Fund, to be administered and distributed by SWANA. We ask that you please share this information within the Chapter and via any other appropriate networks. The application website is available here.


    Front-line solid waste and recycling collection workers will potentially qualify for assistance if they: (1) have tested positive for COVID-19; (2) were laid off because of COVID-19 and continue to be unemployed; or (3) if an immediate family member was a front-line solid waste or recycling collection worker and passed away as a result of the coronavirus. Individuals directly impacted by COVID-19 by testing positive for the coronavirus or who lost their job due to the coronavirus and are currently unemployed can receive US $500. Immediate family members (spouse or minor children) of a solid waste and recycling collection worker who died due to COVID-19 can receive US $2,500.


    SWANA will begin accepting applications to the Fund on May 1, 2020. Applications will be processed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until the fund is depleted. According to published reports, hundreds of solid waste collection workers in the United States and Canada will be eligible for the fund. There will be a limit on the number of applications approved from any specific state, province, or country, to ensure funds are distributed in an equitable manner across different locations. SWANA membership is not required to be accepted as a recipient.


    You can check out the FAQs about the Fund if you have any questions. Anything not addressed there can be sent to covid19fund@swana.org.


    Glad’s contribution is part of their broader effort thanking sanitation workers for the essential work they are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Glad will be running advertising on broadcast media throughout the United States beginning May 6, and social media ads are expected to start later this week.

  • April 21, 2020 9:34 AM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    FROM:                  Jesse Maxwell, Advocacy & Safety Senior Manager, SWANA

    TO:                         SWANA Core Advocacy Group

    DATE:                    April 20, 2020

    SUBJECT:             Essential Workers Bill of Rights


    On April 13, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) unveiled a proposal for an “Essential Workers Bill of Rights” to protect frontline workers during the Coronavirus pandemic. The lawmakers have called for the next Congressional Coronavirus relief package to include these policies.


    Though several essential worker groups are explicitly cited in the announcement, solid waste management is not. SWANA intends to contact the offices of Senator Warren and Representative Khanna to seek clarification that solid waste workers, deemed essential by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and all state emergency orders, are included in their proposal. These efforts do not reflect support of the proposed Bill of Rights or any subsequent legislation. A press release outlining the elements of the “Essential Workers Bill of Rights” can be viewed here.


    A reminder that SWANA’s Coronavirus guidance and resources pages are updated regularly to include the latest information important to the solid waste industry. Please share among your Chapters and Technical Divisions.


    If you have any specific questions, please contact me directly at jmaxwell@swana.org.

  • April 15, 2020 11:12 AM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    SWANA is seeking out the Biggest Safety Improvement and Best Safety Innovation in the industry to honor with a 2020 SWANA Safety Award. Submissions are now being accepted online through Friday, June 26, 2020.


    The annual SWANA Safety Awards exemplify the solid waste industry’s profound commitment to improving employee safety through communication, best practices, increased company regulations, and accident review. Winners will be recognized at WASTECON® 2020 in Dallas, Texas, December 7–10, 2020.


    There is no fee to enter and a simplified application process makes submission easier than ever. Further information about the criteria and how to enter can be found here

  • April 10, 2020 11:16 AM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    The National Safety Council has drafted a letter to leadership at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency requesting that, after prioritizing the healthcare sector, that COVID-19 testing resources are directed towards U.S. employers that are engaged in essential business services. This would include the solid waste industry, as it has been deemed essential in state and territorial orders and in guidance from the Department of Homeland Security. As a member of the NSC, SWANA has been asked to sign on in support of this letter and this Alert serves as notice of SWANA’s intent to do so. With new cases in the solid waste industry being reported on a daily basis, this is an important way for us to support protecting workers, their families, and the public.


    A copy of the letter is available here.


    The letter is available for other organizations to sign onto as well. Commitments must be made by Monday, April 13. Unless there is significant opposition, SWANA intends to add its name to the letter. If you have questions about the letter or your organization is interested in signing on in addition to SWANA, please contact Jesse Maxwell, SWANA Advocacy & Safety Senior Manager at (240) 494-2237 or jmaxwell@swana.org.


    The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization with the mission of eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by engaging businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to help prevent the third leading cause of death in the U.S. – preventable injuries.

  • March 20, 2020 2:30 PM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    The annual Spring Conference is being postponed until Sept/Oct 2020.

    Each person is to cancel their own hotel reservations.

  • January 27, 2020 8:30 AM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    SC Legislation has introduced 3 bills.

    Read more here.

  • January 27, 2020 7:00 AM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    If you received a Safety Awareness Day flyer during the week of January 27, the following are the rules for entry into the drawing:

    1. Must be a waste hauling driver or front line staff to enter.

    2. Management and administration staff are not eligible.

    3. Must submit an entry by February 7, 2020.

    4. Only 1 entry per person.

    5. Send an email with your contact info or submit your entry here

    Winner will be notified on February 21, 2020.

    Contact us: info@scswana.org

  • January 07, 2020 2:51 PM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    A bill requiring DHEC to promulgate drinking water MCLs for PFAS and other compounds was pre-filed in November 2019.

    PFAS Bill to Reach House Floor this Week (Jan 6, 2020)

    • On January 9, the House is expected to bring legislation related to toxic chemicals to the floor and a vote on passage could happen as soon as the following day;
    • The bill, H.R. 535, would push the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create nationwide protective measures against poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS);
    • H.R. 535 passed out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on November 20 by a vote of 31-19;
    • The bill requires that within one year of enactment, the EPA Administrator shall designate all PFAS substances as hazardous under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA);
    • The legislation would effectively bar the production of PFAS compounds, as well as direct EPA to drinking water standards for the chemicals;
    • The bill also includes language which would authorize $500 million over the next five years to help states address PFAS in drinking water, as well as $200 million over the next two years to install treatment technologies;
    • The overall bill incorporated legislative text from 11 additional Committee bills related to PFAS, but it is unclear whether a House-passed bill would be brought to the floor in the Senate.

  • January 02, 2020 11:50 AM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    National SWANA is supporting legislation to improve recycling infrastructure and expand public education and outreach in the United States. One such piece of legislation is the Realizing the Economic Opportunities and Values of Expanding Recycling (RECOVER) Act, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 15, 2019 as H.R. 5115.

    After introduction, the RECOVER Act was referred to the Energy & Commerce (E&C) Committee for consideration. Representative Jeff Duncan sits on that committee.  

    The next step in the legislative process is for the E&C Committee to have hearings on the bill and vote on it. In order for that to happen, the members of the Committee need to understand why this bill is so important to their constituents. Without their support, the RECOVER Act can move no further.

    More to come.

  • December 09, 2019 3:32 PM | Philip Westmoreland (Administrator)

    We are thrilled to announce we have been named 'Organization of the Year' by Waste Dive, one of the leading trade publications covering the solid waste and recycling industry. And it's all thanks to members like YOU! 

    None of this work would be possible without all those involved in SWANA including: the almost 11,000 SWANA members, Board of Directors, the Technical Divisions, SWANA’s 47 chapters in the United States and Canada, and SWANA staff. We are excited to share this award with all those who are a part of #TeamSWANA and are looking forward to a successful year in 2020!

    Check out the statement we released about the award and be sure to share the news with your co-workers, family, and friends! 

    SWANA's Statement

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