SWANA places orders for more than 2M free facial coverings on behalf of waste industry

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) announced it has collected and submitted orders for cloth face coverings on behalf of the entire U.S. solid waste and recycling industry to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS along with other federal partners are providing cloth face coverings at no cost to essential critical infrastructure workers in the U.S.. SWANA was asked to assist in the distribution by promoting the program and collecting orders.

SWANA submitted more than 1,540 orders totaling over 2.4 million facial coverings on behalf of solid waste and recycling professionals across the country. The face coverings will be going to public and private sector workers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Companies and agencies who placed orders should expect to receive the facial coverings by mid-August, the association says.

“SWANA is proud to provide this important service to this great industry, which continues to work hard on a daily basis collecting, processing and disposing of solid waste and recyclables,” SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman says. “The facial coverings to be provided by the federal government are an important supplement to the personal protective equipment (PPE) that front-line workers and others in the industry and at local governments are using to protect themselves from COVID-19. We look forward to additional collaborative opportunities with federal officials and others, including providing PPE and other materials.”

Numerous municipalities, national solid waste companies, small and medium-sized haulers, and organizations that support the industry took advantage of the free face coverings to help protect their employees and the public. Many states and local governments are requiring or recommending facial coverings for essential workers. The face coverings are 100 percent cotton and contain silver and copper, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency says may help kill or stop the growth of viruses and germs.

“We are very thankful for SWANA’s support in keeping our men and women safe during these challenging times,” Michael Fernandez, director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM), says. “DSWM was able to order 5,000 masks as a result of SWANA’s ongoing efforts."