DHS Designates Waste Collection “Essential Critical Infrastructure” at Request of NWRA

DHS Designates Waste Collection “Essential Critical Infrastructure” at Request of NWRA

Major Victory for NWRA Advocacy

Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) thanks the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency for recognizing solid waste collection workers as part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. This designation comes after NWRA sent a letter to DHS Secretary Wolf requesting the designation.

DHS designated the industry under its Public Works category:

  • Support to ensure the effective removal, storage and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and hazardous waste

as well as under its Transportation and Logistics category:

  • Truck drivers who haul hazardous and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions and services

While most other professions were grouped together on a single line, it is especially telling that waste collection received our own language in two separate sections.

“This is a major win for the waste industry and for the advocacy program at NWRA. I am proud of my staff for remaining at their posts during this national crisis and providing support to our members. We do in fact represent a critical industry, and the NWRA staff have been working overtime to ensure that government rules and regulations do not impede the industry’s efforts to protect public health. We extend our thanks to DHS for recognizing the vital role of the waste industry,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association