Press release: EUREKA, CA – Businesses that support waste handling activities in Humboldt County are identified as “critically essential” under the current Covid-19 pandemic. Following local, state and federal declarations of emergency, Humboldt Sanitation, Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) and Recology have each modified operational schedules and practices to ensure the dependability of core essential services. Our primary focus is maintaining curbside collection services and disposal of garbage generated at our local transfer stations by Humboldt residents. In order adequately staff our modified operations, we have had to temporarily suspend portions of our business that do not represent critical infrastructure and essential services. CRV Buyback is one of those activities.
CRV buyback operations are typically very busy with close contact customer and employee interactions. Risks of exposure to coronavirus exist through the direct physical handling of used CRV beverage containers and cash payments to customers. Staff typically assigned to CRV are needed to support our modified operational schedules. There are also unusual obstacles in maintaining 6’ social distancing and ensuring face covering requirements. Making certain that onsite safety guidelines are followed by the public is beyond the scope of our employee’s duties. Because of these conditions, and the fact that there are other avenues of collection recyclable materials, buyback centers were closed in March and will continue to be closed.
We are actively monitoring conditions as the State of California and local governments move to relax the Shelter-In-Place orders. Humboldt Sanitation, HWMA and Recology will accept CRV containers when and if conditions allow. As operators responsible for handling Humboldt’s garbage and recyclables, we are committed to an incremental phased return of our non-essential services, and one that ensures the health and safety of our customers and employees during the pandemic, consistent with guidelines issued by the State of California’s Resilience Roadmap and public health officials.
Curbside Collection Routes
We each immediately implemented a number of physical changes and protective measures to our collection trucks and transfer stations to protect our employees and public from possible coronavirus exposure. These measures include requiring employees to self-monitor their health, directing employees to not report to work when not feeling well, increased cleaning frequency at common areas, work-stations, truck cabs, equipment, increased personal protective gear, staggered work schedules and implemented modified work assignments to meet social distancing rules. We encourage our customers to maintain social distancing and to pay with debit/credit cards to minimize handling cash during transactions.
Humboldt Sanitation and Recology continue to provide curbside collection of garbage, recyclables and green-wastes (where services are available) during the Shelter-In-Place. Garbage and recyclable bins are generally collected through the use of automated equipment. However, some area routes require containers to be loaded into trash vehicles manually, increasing the risk of exposure to employees.
For the safety of our employees, do not overfill garbage or recycling bins with material which may spill out and require clean up. If you need a larger collection container, please contact your local garbage hauler to arrange for a properly sized container.
Transfer Stations & Rural Container Sites
All transfer stations are open under normal operating hours and accept public self-haul garbage, green-waste, mixed-stream recyclables, appliances, furniture and e-waste, and other items. CRV buy back operations are suspended. The rural container sites also remain open with no change in operating hours or materials accepted.
- Humboldt Sanitation operates the Humboldt Sanitation Transfer Station, located in McKinleyville, and rural container sites in northern Humboldt to accept public self-haul of garbage and recyclable materials.
- HWMA operates the Hawthorne Street Transfer Station, Eureka Recycling Center and Household Hazardous Waste facility. Acceptance of business generated hazardous waste by appointment only is currently limited to one day a week – Thursdays from 9am to 4pm.
- Recology operates the Recology Eel River Transfer Station (Fortuna) and Redway Transfer Center (Redway), and the rural container sites in southern Humboldt.
Our path through this pandemic is fluid and we are making modifications to our respective facilities to protect our employees and the public. We appreciate our customer’s understanding and patience as we work to protect our community’s health and well-being.