December is Hauler Appreciation Month at Rubicon, where we celebrate the men and women who pick up and dispose of our waste and recycling every day, come rain or shine, around the world.
While we appreciate our network of more than 7,000 vendor and hauler partners (90 percent of which are small, independent businesses) year-round, this December we would like to take the time to say an extra thank you for all the work they are doing to keep our communities clean and safe.
This year, the COVID-19 public health emergency has made the jobs of waste and recycling workers, already one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, even more perilous. Read on to find out how Rubicon has been fighting for haulers everywhere, how to keep your community haulers safe during COVID-19, and how you can show appreciation for your local haulers during these challenging times.
Fighting for Haulers Everywhere
Our independent hauler partners are at the heart of all that we do here at Rubicon. We are grateful for them every day, and for all haulers everywhere that are continuing to carry on their essential service in the midst of a global pandemic. When I speak to our hauler team about our hauler partners, these descriptors are most common: expert, professional, dedicated, and tireless. We are privileged to work with such a passionate community.
Over the last ten months, Rubicon’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Nate Morris, has been fighting for haulers around the United States in an effort to keep them safe, healthy, and afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- In March, Nate wrote a letter to President Donald Trump, key Cabinet Secretaries, and U.S. Congressional Leaders urging them to not ignore waste and recycling haulers in a COVID-19 relief package.
- Later in March, he wrote a letter to Rubicon’s independent hauler partners providing guidance on how they can apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans during this time of immense economic hardship.
- In July, Rubicon announced that it would be offering protective face masks to all of its partner haulers and sanitation workers.
- In December, Nate wrote a letter to Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urging the CDC and ACIP to prioritize the waste and recycling sector in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations after health care workers.
How to Keep Waste and Recycling Haulers Safe
Here are six things that we can collectively do to help our waste and recycling haulers and other sanitation workers stay safe while they continue to provide their essential services:
- Use soap and water or an alcohol-based cleaning product to wash-off the handles and lids of all trash and recycling bins that are physically picked-up by sanitation workers;
- Ensure that bins and bags are closed and sealed properly;
- If you need to interact with your waste and recycling hauler, put on a face mask and maintain social distancing while doing so;
- Keep to the rules outlined by your local sanitation department and only place proper waste and recycling materials in the proper bins;
- Practice social distancing by placing your bins out the night before the waste or recycling is slated to be picked up; and
- Donate new pairs of work gloves and/or bottles of hand sanitizer by leaving them on top of the trash lid as a gift (include a note so they know they’re safe to use).
Showing Appreciation to Waste and Recycling Haulers
There are numerous ways to show appreciation for your waste and recycling haulers during Hauler Appreciation Month. While communities around the U.S. celebrate the holidays while taking COVID-19 precautions, the hard work of haulers doesn’t slow. A small gesture of gratitude can go a long way in making the early morning rounds sweeter. You and your kids can craft a poster to show your thanks or place a sanitized box of goodies by the bin. Water bottles, (unopened) snacks, or new pairs of work gloves are always appreciated.
For a range of ideas for how to show your appreciation, scroll the #HaulerHeroes tag on Twitter and Instagram. And if you choose to show your appreciation to your local haulers, inspire others to do the same by taking a photo and uploading it to social media using the #HaulerHeroes tag. We’ll share some of our favorites on Rubicon’s social media accounts to spread the word.
Chris Watts is Sr. Director of Innovation and Hauler Relations at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.