Curbside collection ranks as fifth most dangerous job in the US

Refuse and recyclable materials collection remains the fifth most dangerous job in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 2015 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, released in December 2016, shows that the rate of fatalities among waste collection workers has risen since 2014.

Fatalities increased among private sector refuse and recyclable material collectors from 18 the prior year to 24, while fatalities in the public sector were unchanged at nine fatalities both years.

Both the private and public sectors are one fatality greater their five-year average. The incidence rate moved up to 38.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers from 35.8 in 2014.

The industry defined by BLS as solid waste collection decreased by 10 percent to 36 fatalities in 2015—27 in the private sector and nine in the public sector.

The refuse and recyclable material collectors occupation accounts for three-fourths of the fatalities in the solid waste collection industry.

© Christine Langer-püschel |

The private landfill industry, after not having any fatalities in the past two years, incurred nine fatalities in 2015.

Private material recovery facilities incurred three fatalities in 2015, an increase from zero fatalities in 2014.

Both private and public sector waste and recycling operations had 50 fatalities in 2015, an increase from 40 in 2014, driven up mainly by fatalities at the landfill. The last time this number was 50 or higher was in 2008, when 54 fatalities occurred within the industry.

“Today’s release of BLS industry and occupational fatality data supports our urgency to improve safety performance nationwide with a special emphasis on front-line workers,” says Kevin Kraushaar, the interim CEO of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), Washington. “Safety is a top priority for NWRA, and with that our members are committed to sharing best practices and working together on a road map that we expect will save lives, reduce injuries and lower incident rates.”

“There’s lots of work to be done to get the waste collection industry off the list of top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.,” David Biderman, executive director and CEO, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, says. “With our Safety Matters web page and frequent workshops across the country, our goal is to provide the helpful and necessary resources to contribute to reducing accidents and injuries in the industry. Nothing we do is more important.”

Waste Pro increases service footprint by 33,000 customers

Waste Pro, headquartered in Longwood, Florida, has announced that it closed 11 acquisitions across Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee from December 2015 through December 2016. Waste Pro says the acquisitions increased its service footprint by more than 31,000 residential customers and 2,200 commercial customers.

In the past 12 months, AD&R Inc.; Community Disposal; Diamond Disposal; Downum’s Waste Services; F-4 Sanitation; Red River Waste Solutions; Better Waste Disposal; Advantage Waste; and two subsidiaries of Mark Dunning Industries and Unified Waste Systems LLC have joined Waste Pro.

Waste Pro says it now serves more than 2 million residential and 40,000 commercial customers from more than 75 operating locations and maintains more than 235 exclusive municipal contracts and franchises.