Thirty-Six States Recognize Waste Collection as Essential Service

Thirty-Six States Recognize Waste Collection as Essential Service

NWRA Urges Remaining States to Do the Same

Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) wrote to 14 governors urging them to designate solid waste collection an essential service in their state. This designation helps ensure that solid waste collection workers can to operate to uphold public health.

“Every state and Washington, D.C., have declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to limit the spread and threat of the disease and to ensure necessary services are available. We thank the 36 governors whose states recognize waste collection workers as essential during this global health crisis. With this in mind, NWRA is urging those governors who have not yet designated the solid waste industry as essential to do so, just as the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency did,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.

This request of certain governors follows NWRA’s engagement with the federal government. In response to requests from NWRA, agencies including DHS and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration extended regulatory relief to the waste and recycling 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 a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association