NWRA Responds to 2021 Injury and Illness Report from BLS

NWRA Responds to 2021 Injury and Illness Report from BLS

Arlington, VA – The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its 2021 Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illness report. According to the report, private industry employers reported 2.6 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses last year, down from 2.7 million in 2020.

The overall injury rate for the waste and recycling industry declined to 3.1 from 3.5 in 2020. The injury rate for solid waste collection fell to 4.0 from 5.2 over the same period. The rate for landfills fell to 2.2, down from 3.4 in 2020. The injury rate at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) fell to 3.2 from 5.1 in 2020.

“The recent BLS data, while trending in the right direction, tells 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,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “We cannot be satisfied with this report, and we have a long way to go to get off of the top ten deadliest industry list.”

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