Glad, the Oakland, California-based manufacturer of trash bags and plastic storage solutions, and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) announced Oct. 29 that the organizations are working together to expand the Sanitation Workers Support Fund. The fund provides financial assistance to solid waste and recycling workers in the United States and Canada adversely affected by COVID-19. Glad and SWANA are expanding eligibility beyond front-line collection workers such as drivers and helpers.
A solid waste worker at a municipal sanitation department or hauling company who has direct interaction with front-line collection workers may now qualify for the fund, including but not limited to, supervisors, dispatchers, mechanics and other maintenance personnel and administrative staff.
In addition, a recycling facility worker, including front-line workers (e.g., pickers, equipment operators, etc.) and workers at recycling facilities who have direct interaction with these front-line workers, including but not limited to supervisors, maintenance personnel and administrative staff, also could qualify for the fund.
Solid waste and recycling workers potentially would qualify for assistance if they have tested positive for COVID-19; were laid off because of COVID-19 and continue to be unemployed; or if an immediate family member was a front-line solid waste or recycling collection worker and died as a result of the coronavirus. Individuals directly affected by COVID-19 by testing positive for the coronavirus or who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus and are currently unemployed can receive $500. Immediate family members (spouse or minor children) of a solid waste and recycling collection worker who died from COVID-19 can receive $2,500.
“SWANA is very pleased to expand eligibility for the Sanitation Workers Support Fund to other solid waste and recycling employees,” SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman says. “Supervisors, mechanics, dispatchers and recycling facilities workers have been equally essential in making sure that solid waste and recyclables in the United States and Canada are being managed properly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are glad to be working with Glad to provide this financial support during this difficult time.”
“Glad is honored to continue our partnership with SWANA and the Sanitation Workers Support Fund,” Glad Director of Marketing C.C. Ciafone says. “We, at Glad, realize how essential solid waste and recycling workers are to keeping our homes and communities safe during the pandemic. We are proud to be part of recognizing their work during these unprecedented times.”
Under the fund, SWANA has approved more than 260 applications and has distributed nearly $120,000 to date. There have been recipients in 24 states and in Canada, with the largest number of recipients at the New York City Department of Sanitation.
SWANA says it expects the expansion of eligibility to result in the remainder of the money in the Sanitation Workers Support Fund being disbursed by early December. SWANA processes applications on a rolling basis and they will be accepted until the fund is depleted. There may be a limit on the number of applications approved from any specific state, province or country to ensure funds are distributed in an equitable manner across different locations. SWANA membership is not required to be accepted as a recipient.
For more information, and to access applications for the Sanitation Workers Support Fund, visit SWANA.org.