Solid Waste Employee Safety


Following are a few of the larger measures that the City of Durham has taken to make sure that Solid Waste Management employees are safe. Some are able to work from home, but obviously collections and disposal employees cannot, and they continue to report to work, going above and beyond to serve the residents of Durham.

  • Yard waste, bulky services and special cardboard collections are suspended to focus resources on trash and recycling
  • We are minimizing the number of collection vehicles that operate with more than one person in the cab (maximum of two). Rear loader cabs have approximately 7’ 4” separation between seats, so are compliant with six-foot separation.
  • Drivers and Collectors are provided with masks and latex gloves and supplies are continuously being replenished as available.
  • Drivers are provided with sanitizing cleaners and wiping cloths to clean the cabs of their vehicles
  • Vehicles are assigned to the same individuals from day-to-day to the greatest extent possible
  • Routing tablets are cleaned and wiped down at the beginning and end of each day.
  • Staff are able to leave once collections have been completed for the day, minimizing the number of staff on-site at the end of the day
  • Team meetings are with smaller groups of individuals, held outdoors when possible, with social separation monitored by supervisors
  • Internal doors are being propped open to avoid having to use door handles, and external doors are being propped open at the beginning and end of shifts.
  • General Services placed the Solid Waste Annex building in the highest priority category for cleaning and sanitizing, along with Police and 911 facilities.
  • Human Resources reviews the medical condition of individuals who are ill or have traveled in a higher risk way, prior to them being cleared to return to work
  • Scale house operators alternate work shifts to avoid having two staff in the small building
  • Scale house operators clean equipment and surfaces at the beginning and end of their shifts
  • Equipment operators are assigned to separate pieces of machinery to avoid use by multiple individuals to the greatest extent possible
  • The Disposal Facility is closed to public to reduce close contact with individuals and the exchange of currency and credit cards.
  • Administrative Staff are all telecommuting/working from home, including Customer Service employees who are able to continue to take calls and perform all functions.