Nation’s Waste Workers Must Receive Priority Status in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Rubicon CEO Nate Morris Urges CDC and ACIP to prioritize the waste and recycling sector in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations after health care workers.

Lexington, KY (December 1, 2020) — As the United States anticipates the first phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, priority status must be given to waste and recycling workers, said Nate Morris, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Rubicon®, in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today. Rubicon is a software company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions to businesses and governments worldwide.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the waste and recycling sector was granted essential status by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration (CISA), and since that time has also been listed as essential in every emergency order issued at the state level in response to the ongoing public health emergency.

“Due to the nature of the work they undertake, standard disease prevention steps such as social distancing are extremely difficult to implement for waste and recycling workers,” said Morris. “Our industry employs hundreds of thousands of men and women across the country and they often have to perform their jobs at close quarters with their colleagues, either in the cabs of waste collection vehicles or side by side at sorting facilities. This unavoidable proximity can dramatically increase the chances of transmission, as does the repetitive physical contact with waste containers when emptying them on their routes.”

Further, minority communities constitute a substantial proportion of waste and recycling employees, and these groups are among the hardest hit by the virus, representing a disproportionate number of both cases and fatalities from COVID-19 when compared to other communities.

“It is incumbent upon the CDC and its advisory committee to grant the waste and recycling sector priority status in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations,” continued Morris. “These individuals are putting their lives on the line every day to make sure the rest of us are living in a cleaner and healthier world. We owe it to them to do all we can to make their working conditions as safe as possible.”

The CDC is meeting today, December 1, 2020, to determine the order of priority for vaccine distribution. To read more about Rubicon’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, go to

About Rubicon

Rubicon is a software company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide. Using technology to drive environmental innovation, the company helps turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises, and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work. Rubicon’s mission is to end waste, in all of its forms, by helping its partners find economic value in their waste streams and confidently execute on their sustainability goals. Learn more at

Rubicon’s inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, Toward a Future Without Waste, can be found at

Dan Sampson
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Press Coverage

Baltimore Makes Investments in Recycling

The city resumes curbside recycling, invests in routing software and plans to launch a recycling education campaign. The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) resumed curbside residential recycling collections Jan. 19. The city had suspended collections Aug. 31, 2020, after facing delays in collecting… Keep Reading...

Curbside Recycling is Back in Baltimore, and Drivers are Using Some New Tech

As weekly collection resumes for the first time in months, the city is implementing software to digitize route information. Curbside recycling is returning to Baltimore on Tuesday (1/19) with a new digitized system to help drivers navigate collection routes. The return comes more than four… Keep Reading...

City Officials Rollout Plans for Curbside Recycling Pickup

On January 19, Baltimore will restart collection of curbside recycling from homes of city residents. Recycling had been halted since late August 2020, due to the pandemic. The city plans on picking up right where they left off, by collecting on the same days as… Keep Reading...

Press Releases

Rubicon Wins 2021 BIG Innovation Award

Business Intelligence Group recognizes Rubicon for leading the charge in environmental innovation New York, NY (January 13, 2021) — Rubicon® today announced it has been named a winner in the 2021 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group (BIG). Rubicon is a software… Keep Reading...

Speaker Series: Rubicon Speaking at WASTECON 2021

WHO: Elizabeth Montoya, Chief of Protocol and Investor Relations at Rubicon (Twitter, LinkedIn) WHAT: The Role of Waste Management in the Sustainable Recovery of Our Cities From public health and environmental crises to economic and social tumult, we faced many adversities as a country in… Keep Reading...

Keeneland Association Names Rubicon Exclusive Sustainability Partner

New five-year agreement incorporates Rubicon’s smart waste, recycling solutions, data analytics, and sustainability planning to support leading track’s efforts to reach zero waste Lexington, KY (December 17, 2020) — Rubicon®, a software company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions to businesses and governments worldwide,… Keep Reading...