-NWRA Staff
November 4, 2021

NWRA Responds to 2020 Injury and Illness Report from BLS

Arlington, VA – The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its 2020 Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illness report. According to the report, private industry employers reported 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses last year.

The overall injury rate for the waste and recycling industry declined to 3.5 from 4.2 in 2019. The injury rate for solid waste collection fell to 5.2 from 5.8 over the same period. The rate for landfills fell to 3.4, down from 3.9 in 2019. The injury rate at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) rose to 5.2 from 3.6 in 2019.

“The recent BLS data tell us we have more work to do to reduce injuries and illness in the waste and recycling industry. Though we are pleased with the significant drop at landfills and among waste hauling, it is important that we work just as hard to reduce injuries and illness at MRFs and across the industry,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “We cannot be satisfied with this report, and we have a long way to go.”

NWRA has a Safety Committee that meets regularly to share best practices and strengthen the culture of safety within the industry.


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 various other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association