Department of Environmental Conservation

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Waste Management and COVID-19

Waste and Recyclables Essential Services Statement

As identified in the Guidance on Executive Order 202.6, essential business or entities that are not required to reduce in-person workforce by 100% include "trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal services." The exclusion includes collection, transportation, processing and disposal activities for any solid wastes, regulated medical waste, hazardous wastes, radioactive wastes and other associated waste categories. This also includes all recyclables including redemption of bottle bill containers. However, these business or entities should implement other appropriate social distancing practices whenever and wherever possible. Regulations associated with these activities continue to be in effect and any related questions should be directed to appropriate DEC program staff. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) have both issued guidance associated with the coronavirus and waste management. Links to this guidance are provided below. In general, standard procedures for safe handling of waste should continue to be used. Please contact the Department with any questions at dmm@dec.ny.gov.