By Finn Digman, Waste Reduction Education Coordinator for Asheville Greenworks
If you haven’t seen our 5-minute reader, COVID-19 and Sanitation Workers: What You Can Do To Help, use this link to the short post, where you can read a quick summary of actions you can take to protect our community’s sanitation employees. This post will discuss ways local sanitation agencies and Asheville GreenWorks are working together to safeguard our sanitation workers.
While the COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, essential workers bear a greater burden than most. They touch more surfaces, interact with more people, and generally leave their homes more than the rest of us. So, to say thanks for their hard work, we need to do our part in keeping them safe.
According to WasteDive, (a website devoted to sanitation-related topics) no cities besides New York have seen major outbreaks of COVID-19 in their sanitation workforce. To avoid a fate similar to New York City’s, we must take action.
Trash is the waste you bag up and put into your green City bin. The City of Asheville has their own sanitation department and collects trash using City trucks. Below is a list of what they’re doing to ensure their employees’ safety during the time of COVID-19.
Here’s what you can do to help your local City employees safe:
Here’s what Asheville GreenWorks is doing to help keep City employees safe:
The City of Asheville contracts with Curbie to collect our recycling. Curbie is continuing as normal with a heightened awareness. Here’s what they say about how their employees are staying safe during the time of COVID-19.
One compost collection service in Asheville, CompostNow, picks up kitchen waste, which is different from yard waste. These are the steps CompostNow is taking to ensure their employees’ health during the spread of COVID-19.
Here’s what you can do to help your CompostNow employees safe:
Asheville GreenWorks is doing our part by:
Help your community the most by practicing the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
By reducing the amount of packaging and products you take in, you expose yourself and essential workers to fewer daily interactions. Reusing your products keeps them in your home and away from sanitation workers. The age-old adage, “waste not, want not,” applies now more than ever. Follow Asheville GreenWorks to learn repurposing and upcycling techniques that will turn your trash into treasure.
Finally, recycle right. This means recycling only “grocery-store” plastic containers, glass, and aluminum; check out Curbie’s website for a complete list of accepted recyclables. Remember: when in doubt, throw it out!
Our city’s sanitation staff are working full-time to keep Asheville clean and safe. Please do your part to protect essential workers by following guidelines, washing your hands frequently, and following the advice of the CDC.
From all of us at Asheville Greenworks, stay safe out there. We’ll see you online!
This article is written for the residents of the City of Asheville in partnership with the City of Asheville.