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tellusHow We Can Help: 
To learn more about what matters to you as the industry copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, ISRI would like you to take this five-minute survey


The health and safety of our members is paramount for ISRI. To assist during this time, we have developed a hub of relevant information and resources to help keep you informed on the latest safe operations, advocacy, state & local policy and economic resources relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes information about how recyclers that are able and choose to operate can so do safety, as well as the latest information about how ISRI is actively working various state and federal policy initiatives that have impacts and potential benefits to the recycling industry. ISRI is a resource for you and your company.

Reach Out Right Now

During this difficult and uncertain time, ISRI has set up an email for you to reach out directly and ask for help: COVID-19@isri.org. Please connect with us at this email address, and let us know how we can support you. The account is being actively monitored, and we will respond within 48 hours or less.

COVID-19: Safe Operations, Advocacy, State & Local Policy and Economic Resources


This document is intended to provide guidance to help recyclers operate safely and minimize the potential for exposure to COVID-19.  It has been developed based on public information.



ISRI Requests National Essential Designation for U.S. Recycling Operations and Talking Points; Designation Also Requested at State and Local Levels ...



Information on State COVID-19 business resources and closure orders, as well as reports on state and local government COVID-19 responses, including session changes, legislation, executive...



Information on State and Federal actions, assistance programs, business resources, and closure orders impacting recyclers.


COVID-19 Podcast: The Impact on Recycling - What to Know on EHS

On the fourth installment of this video/podcast series, Assistant Vice President of International Affairs Adina Renee Adler takes a global view of how COVID-19 is impacting the recycling industry. Moving through the different regions of the world, Adina discusses trade policies and conditions that are influencing the flow of scrap. She also dives into other significant developments on the global front that recyclers need to know.

Basic Individual Hygiene Practices

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Clean your hands oftenHandwashing

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover coughs and sneezes                                                                             

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Place signs throughout your facility to remind employees, customers and others who may come to the facility of the above Hygiene Practices.  The CDC website has numerous posters in PDF format that can be used:  https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/posters.html.

Additional Resources

And, of course, please reach out to any of ISRI’s Safety Staff with questions about any of the items in this document, or any other questions you might have regarding safety and the recycling industry:

Scott Wiggins, ISRI’s VP of EH&S: swiggins@isri.org or 202/662-8529

Commodor Hall, ISRI’s Transportation Safety Director: CHall@isri.org or 202/662=8519

Tony Smith, ISRI’s Director of Safety Outreach: tsmith@isri.org or 260/409-9561

Mental Health

During this time, the mental wellbeing employees is particularly important.  It is a very stressful time for everyone. 

The CDC has a very good website with resources to help people at home and at work manage stress related to COVID-19 that can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.

If you have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), it is important to remind employees as to its availability and how to access it. 

If you do not have an EAP, there are many good resources for reducing anxiety and helping people reduce stress during this time, including:

Have Questions?