Prince William County Solid Waste Division – Honors Waste & Recycle Workers

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Recognize Essential Workers in PW County

Prince William County residents, businesses and organizations are encouraged to celebrate National Waste and Recycling Workers Week, June 12-18.  Formerly National Garbage Man Day, the recognition was rebranded in 2020 as National Waste and Recycling Workers Week to better represent the whole solid waste industry. 

Prince William County is credited by the celebration’s founder, John Arwood, with issuing the first proclamation that recognized the day in 2014.   In June 2022, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors is set to issue its annual proclamation and recognize the essential services these workers provide in our communities.

The move from one day, June 17, to the entire week gives communities, companies, and organizations more time to recognize the importance of solid waste management industry and particularly their trash and recycling collectors’ critical contributions to public health.

Even as many residents were able to work for home during the height of the COVID -19 pandemic, the men and women working in the waste and recycling industry were on the frontlines protecting human health and the environment.

There are many ways that residents and businesses can show support and appreciation during the week of June 12-18, and beyond, for the people doing these important, but dangerous jobs. June is also National Safety month and according to several sources these workers rank 6 out of 10 on the list of  fatal job injuries, which makes safety an appropriate focus all the time. 

  • Slow down and pay extra attention when approaching or passing a collection vehicle.
  • Follow the provided guidelines for size and weight limitations and types of materials discarded in the regular trash, recycling and yard waste bins.
  • Make sure all trash is in a bag and bags are securely closed.
  • Do not set bags outside the cart.
  • Properly dispose of hazardous materials, including batteries.  Do not put them in the trash.
  • Use more caution when putting harmful items in the trash such as glass or hot ashes.
  • Consider ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle things at home, school and work instead of throwing them in the garbage.
  • Wave to your collector (keep six feet distance) to show your awareness and appreciation of their efforts.
  • Express thanks and appreciation with a chalk drawing on the sidewalk or driveway, or a cardboard sign, banner taped to your trash cart/can.
  • Give the landfill attendants an air “high five”.

On June 16 and 17, the Prince William County Solid Waste Division will provide industry workers a special “You Make a Difference” treat pack with a note of appreciation.

To learn more about National Waste and Recycling Workers Week, and how you can show your support, go You can also send your celebration ideas and photos to [email protected].