BRYAN, Texas — With the shelter-in-place order, only essential businesses are open, and one of those is the local waste management services.

We all generate trash, but now with self-isolation at home, that pile may just stack up.

“Most of the restaurants are closed down to the point where they only have takeout service, a lot of people, instead of going out, they’re eating at home, so that generates more of that type of waste, so the volume is a little bit greater than it normally is," said Texas Commercial Waste general manager, Ron Schmidt.

While commercial waste may have decreased because of the limited businesses open, waste management services are seeing an increase in trash at home.

Procedures for handling the trash have not changed, but instead, there is a greater emphasis on hygiene.

“Trash goes to the landfill, and they treat it like they normally would, employees use the same good hygiene they normally use," said Schmidt. "Wiping down equipment, PPE gloves and so far, washing equipment with soap and water."

Many industries are facing high unemployment right now because of the inability to work. That is not the case for waste management services.

“The waste industry is like all the other industries, at least in Texas," said Schmidt. Our unemployment rate is so low, we’re always looking for qualified employees and some of that may be relieved a little bit with the oil center not doing well right now, so there may be employees from those businesses and stuff that need employment." 

Texas Commercial Waste added that it may be less dangerous to pick up trash versus picking up and sorting out recyclables right now because the virus can stick to surfaces.

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