Protecting Our Communities: Thank Your Sanitation Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Role of Sanitation Workers in the COVID-19 Pandemic | Waste & Recycling Workers Week

During the difficult and uncertain times brought on by the coronavirus and the global COVID-19 pandemic, our sanitation workers remain steadfast. While it may not be the most visible or glamorous work, these important men and women continue to protect our families and communities in the face of so many unknowns.

Sanitation Workers Protect Us All

Like our first responders, healthcare workers and other local heroes, sanitation workers continue to serve and protect our communities. Despite fear of exposure to the novel coronavirus, waste workers are showing up to the job every day to keep our streets clean, ensure safe disposal of household & commercial waste and prevent contamination from a host of other viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Sanitation workers are also working hard to clean hospitals, schools, grocery stores and countless other facilities we rely on. They are disposing of biohazardous waste from facilities testing potentially infected COVID-19 patients. For their hard work and dedication despite personal risk, we thank them!

Plague, Parliament and the History of the Modern Sanitation Worker

Sanitation workers have a long history of protecting communities from diseases. This history can be traced all the way back to 1350 AD when the first sanitation workers got their jobs in England. After nearly 25 million people died during an outbreak of the plague, a law was passed requiring yards to be cleaned. Less than 40 years later, parliament banned the dumping of waste into ditches and public water ways. These earliest laws and regulations that would eventually catch on in civilizations around the world were a huge leap forward for the safety and sanitation of communities.

From this point forward, the sanitation industry began to develop and evolve over the years and in countries throughout the world. Sanitation services have changed dramatically since Benjamin Franklin introduced street cleaning services in 1757, but the purpose has remained the same. We protect our homes, neighbors and communities and environments by properly disposing of waste.

Thank you to all the dedicated sanitation workers who continue to clean and protect our communities through these difficult times.

One of the many ways you can show your support for all waste and sanitation workers is to become a Waste & Recycling Workers Week Sponsor. The generous support of our sponsors helps get the word out all year long to thank and support these important workers. You can Become a Sponsor Today!