Trash and recycling collection workers are an important line in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to Rumpke Waste & Recycling, which said it is looking for new employees.
“We can’t have piles of trash at the curb because that would continue the spread,” said Rumpke spokeswoman Molly Yeager Broadwater.
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Rumpke officials are asking customers to make sure all their trash is contained in bags to reduce exposure to used items and personal hygiene products. Additionally, recycling materials should be placed in recycling bins loose, and trash and grocery bags, tissues, napkins, and paper cups aren’t to be placed in the recycling bins.
Rumpke is also asking customers to reach out to its customer service through its website, Rumpke.com or Facebook private messaging at Facebook.com/RumpkeCo.
Broadwater said collection workers and drivers are wearing gloves and safety glasses as they make their rounds around Ssuthwest Ohio, and are instructed to wash their hands frequently.
Other safety measures Rumpke is taking includes:
• monitoring the changing public health environment and following sanitary protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration;
• instructing employees to follow CDC recommendations regarding proper handwashing and sanitizing;
• elevating cleaning procedures inside Rumpke facilities, and reinforcing the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces;
• limiting travel for office personnel, and conduct meetings online; and
• suspending public tours of Rumpke sites, as well as participation in public events through the end of April.
“Removing waste is essential to the health and wellness of our society, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep our employees and communities safe,” Broadwater said.
Broadwater said there haven’t been any decisions on suspending cutoffs of service considering Rumpke allows 90 days before discontinuing service.
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“We don’t immediately cut off, but there are ongoing conversations,” she said. “We’re just waiting to see how long this lasts.”
She said Rumpke will update its customers as more information becomes available.
But in the midst of his public health emergency, where some industries may need to lay off employees, Broadwater said the recently unemployed may want to consider a job at the 90-year-old family-hauling service. The coronavirus crisis in Ohio has sparked a 2,500 percent increase in state unemployment claims this week. Ohio received nearly 78,000 unemployment compensation claims in the first part of this week with more than 29,000 coming on Tuesday.
“If people are looking for steady work and good benefits, we are hiring,” she said. The company is looking for drivers, collectors and recycling employees.
“There are a number of us working remotely, but the majority is needed in the field,” Broadwater said.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
• Bag all of your trash. This reduces employee exposure to items like used tissues and other personal hygiene products.
• Place trash at the curb the night before the scheduled service.
• Continue to place recycling in your bin loose. Only place the correct items in your recycling container. Trash bags and grocery bags, tissues, napkins, and paper cups
• Properly dispose of medical sharps. Medical sharps used to administer medication to individuals or pets should be placed in a rigid plastic container — like an empty laundry detergent bottle — that is clearly marked “Sharps,” sealed shut and placed in the trash.
Rumpke is experiencing higher call volumes at this time and ask people to consider contacting the Rumpke Customer Service at Rumpke.com or through Facebook private message at Facebook.com/RumpkeCo.