There have been a lot of conversations around how to keep essential workers safe as they support their fellow citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.
The CEO of Covanta, a waste management company, joined TheStreet's Katherine Ross to discuss how his company is keeping their essential workers safe and protected as they go about their duties amidst the pandemic.
Watch the video above to see what Covanta CEO Stephen Jones has to say.
Katherine Ross: How's the waste and recycling industry doing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic? Is it one of the few industries that is truly recession-proof? Well, joining me today is Stephen Jones, CEO of Covanta. How are you keeping workers safe during this pandemic?
Stephen Jones: So, that was our initial concern because we're essential facilities. So, we continue to operate during the whole pandemic. So, a lot of stuff that we're doing is around the health and safety of workers. So, we're taking people's temperatures before they come into the building or the plants in the morning. We're providing additional PPE. We're doing more decontamination of our facilities. There's social distancing that's going on. We're splitting shifts up to make sure people aren't in harm's way. So, a lot of activity from that perspective and it's interesting hearing a lot of companies talk about getting back to the office or getting back to work. We've been at work the whole time because we are essential to the economy.
Katherine Ross: Now, I know that you guys do actually pick up some COVID-19 waste and I'm wondering, first of all, how did you guys make a plan to do that safely? And how can you protect people from literally picking up the virus, pretty much?
Stephen Jones: Yeah, it's interesting. It's a virus like the flu, for example. Obviously, it has a different impact on people, but we take viruses all the time into our energy from waste plants. And what we do is we've invested in equipment where the employee doesn't have to touch the packaging that the virus comes in. And so, it gets automatically taken from the truck of one of our partners, like A Star Recycle goes around and picks up this material. It'll take the packaging and put it directly into a hopper feed that puts it into the boiler. So, there's very little interaction between employees and the actual material itself. And we've invested in several facilities, now. We've got three permits where we can take regulated medical waste. And in those facilities, we've invested in this type of a hopper system in order to make sure we safeguard our employees.
You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.