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

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