Working in a MRF can be rewarding

COVID-19 & High Performance Work Teams: Lessons Learned

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, industries across the board have been affected. Like the rest of the business world, COVID has created challenges for recycling and staffing.

As businesses across the country worked to keep people safe, Leadpoint was addressing these same concerns in the MRFs it supports and took action to ensure the safety of our associates, coast to coast.

Preparing for the Worst

Leadpoint began by considering some important logistical issues:

  • How can our sorters work safely during the pandemic and avoid spreading COVID-19 to coworkers and loved ones?
  • How long will we need to take extra precautions?
  • With travel restrictions in place, how will our front-line managers support our customers and associates and respond to the added pressures of remote leadership?

Before moving ahead, we addressed communication, taking a deliberate approach that made no assumptions and kept an open and consistent dialogue with our customers and associates. Our communication plan included these three elements:

  1. Relaying factual information about the pandemic from reliable sources and avoiding any confusion.
  2. Daily check-in calls between leadership and the field to reinforce CDC guidelines.
  3. Implementing temperature and wellness checks and health questionnaires to contain the virus’ spread.

Stringent protocols were also instituted within the first weeks of Leadpoint’s pandemic response. Biometric time clocks for were replaced with manual sign-in sheets. Bandanas were distributed to associates on a regular basis to all sites to combat aerosolization of the virus. Rigorous cleaning schedules and sanitation checklists became common “best practices.” And case management proved crucial, tracing any COVID-positive test results to the source to prevent further contamination.

Putting Our Associates First

It was paramount to make our associates feel safe coming to work. We wanted to reassure them that it was safe to enter the MRF. We also wanted to quell concerns about job security. And, we owed it to our MRF customers to keep their operation running, since recycling facilities were deemed “essential” early in the pandemic.

We implemented self-quarantine procedures for symptomatic and asymptomatic associates, which capped the spread and dodged potential facility shutdowns. We also enforced a hardline two-week quarantine period and paid out available sick time.

 Lessons Learned: What was Important?

That was seven months ago. Our fears of COVID outbreaks, facility shutdowns, and serious illness were put to rest due in large part to Leadpoint’s action plan and safety precautions.

Despite fluid changes in the CDC’s coronavirus guidelines, our instruction to associates remained updated and relevant. In-depth training of our onsite managers and line leads proved to be invaluable in changing the attitude towards sanitation and social distancing.

Leadpoint’s East Coast Director of Operations Chad Bebber said, “Our team understands that the safety of our associates is our #1 priority above all else. They embraced all the necessary steps to ensure we kept everyone safe and kept our customers in business.” Bebber added that the stringent cleaning regimen, temperature checks, and communication of guidelines stabilized Leadpoint and the MRFs support throughout the pandemic.

Where Do We Go from Here?

If the pandemic has highlighted anything, it’s the necessity for a Leadpoint to maintain a strong candidate pipeline and to seek job applicants in unorthodox ways. New relationships with community organizations have provided a steady flow of job seekers we can put back to work.

Going forward into the fall and winter months, being vigilant with social distancing, mask wearing, and regular testing will be key to maintaining low infection rates.

Most importantly, understanding that our customers, onsite managers, and associates are owed the best care and service possible, Leadpoint will continue to attack the spread of COVID with educated decisions and professional protocols.


4 Responses to “COVID-19 & High Performance Work Teams: Lessons Learned”

  • Steve says:

    Hi, I was looking to apply for a recycling job, but I noticed on the application I had to fill out my SSN#. I don’t feel comfortable giving out my SSN# on a job app. Is there another way I can apply without entering my SSN#? Thank you, you can reach me at

    • Leadpoint Moderator says:

      Thanks for your question. We only ask for a portion of a candidate’s SSN as an identifier. If you would like to speak to a recruiter directly about applying for a job with Leadpoint, you can call 855-801-1741 or email us at

  • Terrance henley says:

    I currently work for leadpoint in Las Vegas Nevada and I was wondering are we considered essential workers because I’m understanding Republic Services considered essential workers and we do all the work put the trash and hazardous material

    • Leadpoint Moderator says:

      Terrance, you can speak to your onsite manager there in Las Vegas. He can answer this question for you. We have also referred your question to Leadpoint’s HR department. Thanks for asking and stay safe!

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