Total Fatalities in Refuse, Recyclable Material Collectors Up in 2013

Total Fatalities in Refuse, Recyclable Material Collectors Up in 2013

National Waste & Recycling Association Expresses Concern
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.@WasteRecycling expresses concern over @BLS_gov's latest refuse collector fatality stats

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John Haudenshield, director of safety, National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA)

National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) represents the private waste and recycling industry in the United States.

The Slow Down to Get Around safety campaign, encouraging motorists to drive more carefully around waste collection trucks, is gaining traction nationwide. Five states (Alabama, Florida, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin have all passed related legislation.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) has expressed concern over the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regarding refuse and recycling material collector fatalities.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 5:20pm

WASHINGTON, September 11, 2014 /3BL Media/ – A total of 33 fatalities occurred among refuse and recyclable material collectors in 2013, according to preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The incidence rate for this occupation was also 33.0, meaning that for every 100,000 refuse and recyclable material collectors, 33 fatalities occurred. In the final report for 2012, the actual number and the incidence rate for fatalities were 26 and 27.1, respectively.

“While we are not surprised by the BLS data, we are disappointed to see the slight increase in fatal injuries in our industry,” said John Haudenshield, director of safety at the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA). “NW&RA has been proactive in expanding our safety program  by developing ANSI standards, implementing the Safe Driver Certification program and publishing the Manual of Recommended Safety Practices for the Waste & Recycling Industry.

“Most of these fatalities are the result of workers being struck by vehicles,” Haudenshield continued. “To address this, NW&RA is actively promoting Slow Down to Get Around legislation across the country. Earlier this summer, West Virginia passed SDTGA into law, and we continue to seek partnerships for this important legislation to be the champion of safety for the waste and recycling industry.”

Across all professions, the fatality incidence rate decreased in 2013, from 3.4 to 3.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The actual number of fatalities also decreased in 2012 from 4,628 to 4,405.

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The National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NW&RA, visit


Thom Metzger
+1 (202) 364-3751
National Waste & Recycling Association