The State and Federal designations have reached a consensus on how vital the waste and recycling industry is as it relates to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  They have also highlighting the physical susceptibilities that COVID has placed on its workforce. When shutdowns occurred in early 2020 in North America the first changes in Waste Management (WM) shifted from commercial/industrial containers to residential ones.  This change transpired overnight, with residential waste volumes up 20% on average at the beginning of the pandemic. Moreover, as the vaccine roll-out is expected to improve by mid-2021, and businesses continue to reopen increasing workplace capacity, the (WM) industry can expect an increase in productivity on the commercial and industrial side of WM’s business.

The Director of the Department of Solid Waste Management in Miami-Dade, Florida, mentioned that there is a silver lining in the workforce given that organizations benefited greatly from the impact of  the pandemic and came to the conclusion that their employees can successfully work from home. This positive effect  means that a percentage of the workforce will continue to work remotely, and the trends are suggesting that the residential (WM) needs side might not see any big shift in volumes, and will most likely remain stable for the foreseeable future.

Reports have showed that thousands of workers contracted coronavirus while on or off the job and several have died.  Although PPE for the workers were highly recommended workers had limited options for social distancing guidelines as they work in closely with each other.  The industry reported that the slow rollout of a vaccine impacted their ability to safeguard their employees who remain at risk.  The New York City’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) reported the COVID-19 had a grave impact on its workforce and reported that over 20% of the workforce was out at one-point last year when the pandemic was ravaging America’s biggest city.  The department also reported that COVID has had a negative effect on employees while increasing moral problems.   They suggested that more can be done to show the employees that their wellbeing is their number one priority.  Moreover, the recycling industry’s long-running challenge for improving broader safety measures remains a work in progress.  Figuring out how to protect employees from physical or virus-related hazards is likely to remain a constant challenge and is a question that may bear repetition for years to come.

OVP Recycling is committed to the safety and well-being of its employees and those of the thousands of SMEs in South Florida. We are ready to help you transform your business as you recover from the pandemic and get back to normal operations. As businesses reopen, we are standing by to provide commercial recycling services for your waste plastic, paper, metal, cardboard and pallets. We serve the entire south Florida tri-county region including Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach and surroundings areas.

Call 954-572-7534 or email info@ovprecycling to get information about how we can help recycle your commercial waste.

Written by Leon Roberts