COVID-19 and CVWMA Collections

Educational Resources

    A Message from Our Executive Director 

    As COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, removal of trash and recyclables remain essential services for public health and safety. CVWMA and our contractors are committed to continuing to provide those services to our customers in a manner that protects the public as well as employees and those working in the industry to continue services.

    CVWMA operations are continuing, with a very limited staff physically in the office, most employees working remotely. With limited capabilities to operate a call center remotely, we are handling calls and emails for service related issues and information requests by asking those who need to contact us, call (804) 340-0900 for recycling and (804) 425-0500 for trash and leave a voice message or email There may be a delay in responding, but we are making every effort to address all calls and service needs as quickly as possible.

     If there should be changes in existing operational services, we will post changes on our website and our social media platforms.

    While CVWMA is practicing “social distancing” in our offices, our public partners and contractors are as well for office-related work. However, there are many workers on the street continue to collect trash and recycling from homes and public facilities.

    What general precautions should we take to ensure public safety and protect waste and recycling workers?

    Per OSHA, management of waste that is suspected or known to contain or be contaminated with COVID-19 does not require special precautions beyond those already used to protect workers.   Employers and workers are and continue to use typical safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and face/eye protection.   General precautionary measures provided by the CDC, such as avoiding touching face, washing hands, using hand sanitizer should be used throughout the day.


    What should we all do to ensure personal safety and safety of drivers and helpers on trucks?

    • Treat trash/recycling containers as any other surfaces, like doorknobs, tables and handrails and disinfect (handles, lids, openings….) after each collection using products and guidelines recommended by the CDC.
    • DO NOT put wipes in Recycling Containers – they are NOT RECYCLABLE and should go in the trash.
    • If you can, use *gloves to wheel or carry your containers to the curb/alley, and/or wash hands or use hand sanitizer after putting your cans and bins out for collection.
    • *Latex and other disposable gloves go in the trash – not your recycling container.
    • Bag and tie your trash before putting in your trash cart, BUT NO PLASTIC BAGS in the recycling!!
    • Minimize contact with trash and recycling workers.


    Is it safe for Drivers, Helpers, Operators and Sorters to handle Garbage and/or Recycling?

    • Yes. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are not calling for any additional steps to handle waste or recycling.
    • Waste and recycling handling is not a disease pathway and has not been identified as needing any special precaution by the WHO or CDC.
    • Household waste and recycling are not considered regulated medical waste, even if a person in the home has an infectious disease, such as COVID-19.
    • As with all handling of solid waste and recycling, caution and personal protective equipment (gloves, face/eye protection, etc.) should always be used. It’s important to continue practicing good hand washing hygiene habits.


    What work practices should and are Drivers, Helpers, Operators, Sorters, etc. be following?

    • All employees handling any waste or recycling should be following the PPE requirements of their job. Always wear specified gloves for your job or task.
    • Customary work practices and precautions taken by employees (while using the correct PPE) will protect workers from disease transmission. COVID-19 is spread person-to-person through contact with and/or sharing surfaces contaminated by a sick person. Employees should avoid contact and practice social distancing with other employees and the public. This includes shaking hands, hugging, and sharing food and drinks.
    • Practice good personal hygiene. Be sure to use disinfectant wipes whenever you share tools and equipment.
    • Remain calm and contact your healthcare provider if you have medical questions or feel sick.


    What about taking trash and recycling to convenience centers, public use areas and local drop-off recycling sites? 

    • First contact your locality for any changes to hours of operations and any other limits on operations.
    • If you can, use gloves to carry your trash and recyclables.  After putting your clean, loose recyclables in the drop-off container or your trash in the receptacle, use hand sanitizer.  Wash your hands when you get home.
    • DO NOT put wipes/disposable gloves in Recycling Containers – they are NOT RECYCLABLE and should go in the trash.
    • Latex and other disposable gloves go in the trash – not your recycling container.
    • Remember NO PLASTIC BAGS in the recycling!!
    • Minimize contact with trash and recycling workers.


    What you can do to help. Remember, no plastic bags or plastic bagged recyclables in recycling containers.

    COVID-19 Symptoms from CDC (YouTube Video)

    Know what the symptoms are, from the CDC.