By David Biderman, Executive Director & CEO of
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
When I tell people who are not in the solid waste industry that refuse and recycling collection is the 5th most deadly job in the United States, they are almost always amazed. The public doesn’t realize that thousands of men and women are putting their lives on the line each day to take care of their garbage.
But to those who work the routes or send employees out each day, the dangers of the job are far too real. In 2016 alone, SWANA recorded 46 worker fatalities in the US, half of which were drivers and helpers out collecting garbage. It is simply unacceptable to have so many people die on the job. These are parents, grandparents, spouses, sons and daughters who are not coming home to their families at the end of the day.