FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – Across the United States, including Fairfax County, Waste and Recycling Workers Week is being recognized to celebrate the unsung heroes who are at the forefront of the solid waste industry. The week goes from June 12 – 18.
This week of thanks and gratitude also serves as a reminder that solid waste and recycling collectors positions rank in the top 10 jobs with the highest fatality rate. According to the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), in the United States and Canada, 46 workers were killed in 2022, compared to 28 the previous year. Being struck by a vehicle ranks third as the cause of work-related deaths for collection workers.
The ‘Slow Down to Get Around’ campaign urges motorists to reduce speed and use extra caution when driving around collection trucks to avoid striking sanitation workers. The campaign was created by the National Waste & Recycling Association following a death and serious injury of two workers because of a careless driver.
In Virginia ‘Slow Down to Get Around’ isn’t just a concept, it has been a law since 2015. House Bill 1649 requires drivers to change lanes or slow down to a minimum of 10 mph below the posted speed limit and pass at least two feet to the left of collection trucks. There are more than 40 states with similar laws.
Fairfax County also is encouraging visitors to the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex to slow down when driving through the properties to avoid hitting employees and other visitors using the facilities.
To get information about the DPWES Solid Waste Management Program contact 703-324-5320 or visit us online at Recycling and Trash Locations and Hours.