During a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the essential nature of our work is all that and much, much more. While our lives and jobs and economies shift dramatically, the work we do is simply not an option and is, in fact, one of the underpinnings of a functioning, stable society grappling with a crisis. In simpler terms, the need for safe, reliable waste and recycling services does not change. And so, as many businesses close down and our neighbors, friends, and families stay home, the men and women of Casella are working harder than ever to protect the customers and communities we serve.
Difficult times often bring out the very best in people. Our hope for all of us is that when our customers and communities look back on all of this they will say that Casella and its people have been part of the best things that happened, and demonstrated the best of what people are capable of – caring, dedication, reliability, and looking out for each other.
Health & Safety
Through careful adherence to CDC guidance, our teams have been able to maintain social distancing and keep COVID cases extremely low.
With citizens staying home, residential waste and recycling streams have increased substantially, but our operations team has established a Priority Response Team and maintained steady residential productivity metrics.
Our technology team rapidly transitioned over 60% of our office workforce to remote work and created real time analytics and dashboards enabling us to redirect trucks and equipment where most needed. Customer Care: Our account representatives and customer care team have stayed closely attuned to customers and adapted nimbly to their rapidly evolving needs.
Although demand for many commodities predictably declined along with the economic slowdown, markets for certain materials flourished. The rise in online shopping has driven demand for recycled cardboard. The revival of backyard gardens made May 2020 the busiest month we’ve ever had for compost sales.
We continue to draw many important lessons from the pandemic. It has been a master class in adaptability and resilience. It has forced us to think more deeply about the perspectives and experiences of our customers, communities, employees, shareholders, and society. It has reminded us of the significant responsibility that comes with a deep sense of purpose and urgency.
We will continue to draw upon these lessons for years to come. But for us, the most important insight is this: as so many aspects of daily life have ground to a halt, our services will always be needed, and our people will always rise to the occasion day after day to deliver this essential work.
- N-95 Mask Donations
- Rochester, NY Healthcare Shoe Donations
- Small Business Support
- Meals to Frontline Workers
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic there was a great need for personal protective equipment for first responders and hospital personnel on the front lines of treating those infected. We were grateful to be in a position where we were able to donate nearly 140,000 N-95 masks to those who needed them most. The recipients valued the donations at over $1 million.
Anyone who has worked in the healthcare industry, and as a nurse specifically, will tell you that the days are long and spent primarily on your feet. Alongside an anonymous donor and through a partnership with Fleet Feet in Rochester, NY we were able to contribute 1,000 pairs of Karhu sneakers and Balega socks to the University of Rochester Medical Center staff. The contribution totaled $100,000 with Casella contributing half.
The small businesses that are the backbone of our local economies have been hard hit by pandemic-related shutdowns. To show our appreciation for their important work, and to support them in reopening, we have found opportunities to repurpose some of our own advertising budget to help local shops spread the word and invite their customers to come back. We have done this in collaboration with several area chambers of commerce and local media outlets. It has been humbling to give even this small boost to the entrepreneurs who make our communities unique and our economies strong.
The fellowship of shared meals brings communities together. This has never been more appreciated than during mandatory quarantines and long hours for frontline workers. In many of our communities we have been able to deliver that sense of normalcy. At the United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, NY, our local team provided meals from a local food truck to every shift over the course of three days as just one example.