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 SWANA Releases Compensation Report

Interested in finding out how your salary compares to your peers? Do you want to know the average salary in your state or province? The SWANA Compensation Report provides the answers you are looking for.

SWANA recently published an updated salary compensation study representing the compensation related responses from a survey that SWANA conducted in 2018. A total of 1,358 professionals reported their average annual salary or hourly wage and their total annual earnings including overtime, bonuses, and other cash compensation.

The report features responses for five job functions:

  • Executive Manager
  • Operations
  • Engineering/Maintenance Manager
  • Municipal Consultants/Consulting Engineer
  • Sales/Marketing Manager

The 40-page report also features average earnings by SWANA Chapter Region as well as individual chapters, the U.S. and Canada. The latter reported in Canadian dollars to help readers benchmark their own compensation against the reported averages.

Other variables measured in the report include age range, staff size range, certification and SWANA membership status, and private/small business sector compared to public sector employees. These breakdowns are meant to give all readers an easy way to measure comparable compensation for peers who work in similar settings and locations with similar levels of experience and professional engagement.

Figure 23 is a sample of the results showing the median annual salary by job function and by industry sector (private and small business versus public).

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SWANA’s Director of Membership Darryl Walter said, “The SWANA Compensation Report is a valuable resource and provides detailed information that can benefit our members.” The report assesses earning potential and can be used as a benchmark for an organization’s compensation practices. To receive a sample report, visit https://bit.ly/2LiAK8Y.

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The SWANA Salary Report is sent to members upon renewal of their membership. New members, who join SWANA, will also receive the salary report upon joining. To join SWANA, visit swana.org/join.

SWANA Reports Big Increase in Worker Fatalities in 2018

Association urges additional attention to safety hazards, with focus on collection

At least 59 solid waste industry workers died on the job in 2018 in the United States and Canada, according to the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), an increase of 19 fatalities from the previous year. Fifty-seven of these fatalities took place in the United States, and 71 percent of them occurred during waste or recycling collection.

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In reviewing data collected from a variety of sources, SWANA found that struck by incidents were the most common cause of fatality overall, followed by collisions and roll over incidents. These represented nearly 50 percent of all worker deaths. About 10 percent of victims were on the riding step when the fatality occurred. The cause of deaths at landfills, MRFs and transfer stations were more diverse than in collection, though being struck by heavy machinery or lockout/tagout (LO/TO) failures were common.

The industry’s safety record in 2018 was not acceptable, with at least 19 more worker fatalities than in 2017, noted David Biderman, SWANA’s Executive Director and CEO. “Most of last year’s increase involved collection workers, despite the industry’s success in getting states to pass Slow Down to Get Around laws and efforts by SWANA and others to improve safety on the route, as well as at post-collection facilities.”

“SWANA calls on local governments, private companies, and others to devote more resources to safety and protecting the lives of those who work in the industry,” Biderman added.

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Fatalities among members of the public increased slightly in 2018 from 95 to 101 deaths. These incidents involved the solid waste industry in some fashion, most frequently via a traffic collision with a collection vehicle. About three quarters of the victims were drivers or passengers at the time, and about 14 percent were on a motorcycle or bicycle. Pedestrian deaths represented another 11 percent of all fatalities involving a member of the public.

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Including both workers and members of the public, January had the most fatalities in 2018, with 19 for the month, followed by March with 18. In only two months were more solid waste workers killed than members of the public, September and November.

“The 2018 data are of concern to our Safety Ambassadors throughout the United States and Canada,” says Matt Morales, P.E., Arizona SWANA Chapter Safety Ambassador, Cinder Lake Landfill Project Manager. “While it is difficult to learn of the increased fatalities, it strengthens our dedication to turning the industry around. It’s obvious that we need to increase our effectiveness on this matter. We need more ‘real-time’ data on trending accidents and incidents in our states, regions, and provinces. SWANA’s Arizona chapter is forming an alliance with the Arizona Department of Safety and Health, to provide members with more readily available access to trends. Having access to this data will allow us to keep our eyes on the windshield rather than looking through the rearview mirror.”

Morales added, “To increase awareness and accountability, SWANA Safety Ambassadors are tasked with bringing safety training events to our drivers. SWANA chapters are holding Hauler Safety Outreach events in their states and provinces. These events provide the chance for us to reach out to both private haulers and municipal collection operators. Importantly, it helps them know that we care about them. Finally, the event is unique because each attendee is given the opportunity to take the SWANA Safety Pledge. For operators, the pledge is a demonstration that SWANA stands behind their efforts to be safe out on the road.”

SWANA provides a variety of safety resources to its members throughout the United States and Canada. These include its award-winning chapter-based Safety Ambassador program, new Slow Down to Get Around stickers, frequent safety training events, and Hauler Safety Outreach at disposal sites. More information about SWANA’s safety program is at www.swana.org/safety.

SWANA Discusses Changes to Recycling Programs

SWANA Available to Help Reporters Understand How China’s Import Restrictions Are Impacting Local Recycling Efforts in the U.S. and Canada

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Recycling is an essential public service that shouldn’t be at risk because of short-term market challenges. That message is the most important thing to remember every day, according to the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

“Local governments should not turn off recycling in 2019 because it’s not profitable,” said SWANA CEO and Executive Director David Biderman. “Recycling systems and programs protect public health and the environment and need to be supported by sustainable funding structures. Revenue from selling recovered material is important but should not always be the sole source of funding.”

SWANA is working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and leaders across North America to develop a framework to improve America’s recycling infrastructure. Over the past year, they’ve advocated for and seen increased investments in public education that are reducing contamination and increasing the value of recyclables. That working group also celebrates the announcement of expansions at more than a dozen paper mills and several plastic processing facilities in southeast U.S., adding domestic demand and reducing reliance on exports to foreign markets.

“Working with EPA, our members, and other recycling stakeholders, we are committed to helping communities throughout North America make recycling systems more resilient,” Biderman said. “Earth Day marked an opportunity to remind all Americans about that need and also the need to recycle properly.”

SWANA will continue to emphasize the importance of recycling right and has worked with others in the industry to create and distribute educational materials about reducing contamination.

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“Being involved in advancing the SWANA Recycling Task Force has been extremely beneficial to ensure, as an industry, we all move towards more standardized, educational messaging both locally in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as, nationally across North America,” said Robert Smouse, City of Fort Worth Assistant Director – Solid Waste Services. “Focusing on recycling right will help reduce contamination, wish-cycling, and operational program costs, while increasing the value and quality of our recycled materials and ensuring the continued success of our recycling industry.”

This year, SWANA celebrated Earth Day with a variety of live and online tools to engage the public with recycling properly. You can find our media kit with infographics, social media graphics, and a video to help spread awareness on recycling here. @SWANA also went live on Twitter to discuss the changing nature of recycling.

SWANA’s Twitter live hosts, David Biderman and Advocacy & Safety Manager Jesse Maxwell, are available to answer questions from the media concerning recycling.

Please contact SWANA’s subject matter experts:

David Biderman, Executive Director and CEO, at dbiderman@swana.org.

Jesse Maxwell, Manager of Advocacy and Safety, at jmaxwell@swana.org.

For more information and to download the SWANA Recycling Media Kit, visit swana.org/Resources/RecyclingResources.

SWANA Discusses Changes to Recycling Programs

SWANA Available to Help Reporters Understand How China’s Import Restrictions Are Impacting Local Recycling Efforts in the U.S. and Canada

Ms1906 13 3SWANA is recognized as a leading subject matter expert concerning the current challenges and opportunities that local governments and their private sector partners in the United States and Canada face in connection with recycling. SWANA filed comments with the WTO in 2017, and has been communicating regularly with EPA and other federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, the private sector waste and recycling industry, and other recycling stakeholders about this evolving situation. SWANA hosted a MRF Summit in August 2018, and SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman recently spoke at the National Association of Counties NACO and National League of Cities NLC conferences in Washington, D.C. concerning the current challenges and opportunities associated with recycling.

This issue has received widespread attention in the national and local media over the past few months. SWANA expects many reporters are or will be working on stories concerning sustainability, and anticipates that waste and recycling issues may be part of those articles.

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Biderman notes: “SWANA disagrees with assertions that recycling is ‘collapsing’ or that there is a ‘crisis.’ In thousands of communities throughout the United States and Canada, recyclables continue to be processed on a daily basis and thousands of bales of paper, metal, and plastic are generated that are sent to domestic and foreign buyers. Contamination is a challenge, and SWANA, the recycling industry, local governments, consumer goods manufacturers, and others are working together to address this issue.”

SWANA has taken numerous steps to respond to the disruption caused by waste import restrictions including advocacy on Capitol Hill for recycling-related funding, consulting with associations and other organizations that support recycling, and developing a China Waste Import Restrictions webpage of resources.

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SWANA continues to increase awareness through recent appearances on the NPR On Point program, as well as in articles in The Atlantic, The New York Times, HuffPost, Associated Press, Waste Dive, and The Christian Science Monitor.

Visit https://bit.ly/2PC1ZtX to download SWANA Media Kit: China Waste Import Restriction.

WASTECON® 2019: Pathway to Innovation | October 21–24 

SWANA’s WASTECON® helps public sector solid waste leaders and their teams plan sustainable futures for their communities.

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Join us in Phoenix, Arizona for a week of learning, networking, and fun October 21–24. With a population of almost two million people, Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the United States. The “Valley of the Sun” is a hotbed of creativity, with an innovation district called PHX Core. The area brings together startups, business incubators, accelerators, entrepreneurs and universities to cultivate development of a circular economy and job creation.

Conference topics illustrate innovative ideas and successes in solid waste management: innovation in management techniques, developing a circular economy and tackling marine litter. Innovations in safety, communications, recycling, and international waste management will be showcased at WASTECON® 2019.

WASTECON® features the industry’s most sought-after, highly-valued, and unique leaders like Taimur Burki, Waste and Recycling Manager of Intel, as they make their way to the stage in front of a global audience.

Attending WASTECON® 2019 will also give attendees access to:

  • The highest level of continuing education that helps you to achieve career goals and to increase your industry knowledge
  • The latest in products, trends and technologies
  • Networking opportunities to exchange ideas and build a professional support group

Conference activities revolve around information attendees need to benefit their company. WASTECON® gives you the chance to personalize schedules for teams and individuals.

WASTECON® offers dozens of technical sessions that meet your organization’s needs for the latest information in many interest areas: safety, international waste topics, waste management challenges and more!

Training Certification Courses: Become SWANA Certified or Earn CEUs for Certification Renewals

Training courses are offered in eight areas of solid waste-specific education to become SWANA Certified in the discipline, earn valuable CEUs toward recertification, or improve your industry knowledge. Attendance also allows you to earn valuable CEUs toward recertification.

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WASTECON® helps you network with other professionals and vendors in the industry. Be in-the-know about the latest products, technologies, safety issues and processes that apply to your day-to-day work. Experience opportunities to share and learn from the experiences of others industry best practices and helpful insight.

WASTECON® provides dedicated time and a forum for colleagues to talk about how to apply what you’re learning back at the office or solid waste site. The more staff you send to WASTECON®, the more relevant this aspect becomes.

From technical sessions to poster presentations, WASTECON® curates compelling research into the industry’s frontline topics, providing unprecedented insight into solid waste frontiers.

WASTECON® features dozens of exhibitors positioned for face-to-face meetings that let you explain professional challenges and seek solutions. Experience groundbreaking products and services all in one location and time.

Bring your team to Phoenix, Ariz., from October 21–24 to meet other public sector solid waste leaders and get the most out of the conference. With WASTECON®, there is something for everyone! Register for WASTECON® before July 31 to receive the discounted early-bird pricing. For more information and to register visit wastecon.org.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2019

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SWANA honored the men and women who have died on the job on April 28 for Workers Memorial Day. During this time, we reflect not only on those we have lost, but also on how we can keep the hundreds of thousands who work in the industry safe. SWANA asks all solid waste professionals across North America to join the many others who have already committed to help everyone get home safe every single day and take the SWANA Safety Pledge. Together, we can do better, and as David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO, notes, “nothing we do at SWANA is more important.”

Being struck by a motorist is a leading cause of death for waste and recycling collection employees and, with proper awareness, is completely preventable.

As of January 31, 2019, there were 22 solid waste industry fatalities in the United States and Canada. “That’s the highest frequency of incidents that I am aware of in my 20 in the waste industry” Biderman says.

SWANA provides resources to members and others to improve safety and reduce accidents and injuries in the United States and Canada. The SWANA Hauler Outreach program gives safety material to drivers and helpers at the landfill, transfer station, or other disposal facility to educate them on the basics of safety. They also have a chance to take the SWANA Safety Pledge onsite.

The SWANA Safety Pledge was written by the Safety Ambassadors to raise awareness and help everyone get home safe every day. Take the safety pledge at swana.org/safety/hauleroutreach/safetyPledge.

As part of ongoing efforts to get solid waste workers off the Federal Government’s “Top 5 Most Dangerous Jobs” list, SWANA distributes SDTGA decals to its members. SWANA’s SDTGA program, brought to members in part through a generous sponsorship by Heil Environmental and 3rd Eye—part of the Environmental Solutions Group family, is a national safety campaign aimed at reminding motorists to drive carefully near waste and recycling collection vehicles. SWANA offers its members twenty free Slow Down to Get Around decals. These decals are 11 inches by 6 inches.

In addition, SWANA has recently released its collaboration with BrandArmor to provide an important new safety decal for the back of waste and recycling collection trucks. BrandArmor has created large, SafetyFirst™ Prismatic Reflective caution decals, which include the familiar warning to Slow Down to Get Around. The reflective decals will be visible up to a distance of 1,800 feet at night.

The stickers, which all carry a five-year, one-hundred percent replacement warranty, are tied to the VIN number of the truck. The warranty will make it possible to track vehicles that get the decals and compare accident rates with vehicles that do not have the decals. SWANA members will be able to purchase the decals at a deeply discounted price and are available to purchase on swana.org/slowdowntogetaround.

I pledge to help everyone get home safe every single day. I will consider worker, customer, and public safety in every decision that I make.

My ultimate mission is to serve the community safely for myself, my company, and those who depend on me. If I cannot do it safely, then I will not do it at all.

YP Spotlight

The SWANA Young Professionals (YP) group continues to grow and expand across the country. SWANA YP members have been busy this past year speaking at SWANA events, leading teams, mentoring students and making strides in every aspect of the industry. With more than more than 1,000 YPs, their accomplishments are certainly something to be very proud of.

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Entering a higher-level management position in a new city during the spring of 2017, Josh McMahan was welcomed with a few challenges to overcome. These brought a lot of accomplishments to be proud of; however, the largest hurdle during his first year as Solid Waste Manager was Hurricane Florence. Florence hit the Eastern seaboard in the month of September, causing catastrophic flooding along with high winds and downed trees. It was McMahan’s responsibility to dispatch crews during the initial “push” of the storm to keep roads clear for emergency vehicles during the daylight hours. Following the “push,” he coordinated work of his staff, other city crews and contracted staff to remove all the debris for the health and safety of the citizens of Fayetteville, NC. During the cleanup campaign, they removed 152,064 cubic yards of vegetative material. The two-month-long process included grinding and haul out. McMahan’s team operated 10 knuckle-boom trucks along with the contractors’ 12 trucks.

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“I am not only proud of myself for this accomplishment, but also proud of my team for working hard to clean up the city to help residents recover and move forward,” McMahan says. “My team and I cleaned up double the amount of debris generated by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in less than half the time it took to remove Matthew’s debris.”

Josh McMahan has been a SWANA member since March 2017. He enjoys networking with other professionals within the private and public sector. “I have really enjoyed being a member of SWANA and having all the resources to information and knowledge that is provided in discussions and courses.”

McMahan obtained a certification course for Certified Manager of collection systems in the Fall of 2017 and volunteered at the 2017 and 2018 NC SWANA Road-E-O.

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