City of San Antonio and Lakeshore Recycling Systems Honoured for Safety Measures

SWANA Awards for Innovation & Improvements to Safety in the Waste Industry

The Solid Waste Association of North America’s Safety Committee has named the winners of the 2019 SWANA Safety Awards, including two organisations with the Biggest Safety Improvement Award and the Best Safety Innovation Award.


The Solid Waste Association of North America’s Safety Committee has named the winners of the 2019 SWANA Safety Awards, including two organisations with the Biggest Safety Improvement Award and the Best Safety Innovation Award.

The Best Safety Innovation Award went to the City of San Antonio’s, Solid Waste Management Department for fully implementing a Safety Management System (SMS) that challenged convention, created synergies, and engaged employees at all levels and functions. These efforts reduced accidents by 47% and injuries by 50%, with a lost work day rate reduction of 28%.

“The men and women of the City of San Antonio’s Solid Waste Management Department serve more than 358,000 households weekly and are routinely faced with high risk conditions,” said Walter Barrett, Solid Waste Manager at the City of San Antonio, Solid Waste Management Department. 

“Through the implementation of a Safety Management System, the department strives to mitigate and eliminate these risks and provide a safer work environment that ensures our employees go home to their families in the same condition as when they arrived at work,” he continued.

“Their commitment to safety guided us on the journey to obtaining an ISO 45001 Safety Certification and making San Antonio the first municipality in the world to achieve this accomplishment. Our thanks to SWANA for its role in this challenge and to our entire team whose dedication and innovation propels the continual improvement in achieving a sustained reduction in accidents and injuries,” Barrett concluded.

The Biggest Safety Improvement Award went to Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) for continued success in increasing transparency and two-way communication among employees and management, reducing incidents by over 50% from the previous year.

LRS is headquartered in Morton Grove, Illinois and serves the Chicagoland area with more than 720 full time employees.

“Lakeshore is proud to be recognised by SWANA for our continued dedication to the Live Safety philosophy,” says John Sliwicki, Vice President of Risk Management at Lakeshore Recycling Systems and SWANA Illinois Chapter Safety Ambassador.

“This belief is at the heart of our core values and guides our decision making at every level. Our efforts and commitment have finally started to be demonstrated in the overall reduction of incidents and claim spend. These metrics provide further support that our culture is blossoming, and we are headed in the right direction,” he added.

SWANA also recognised another organisation for its innovation and improvement by awarding an Honorable Mention to City of Casper Regional Landfill in Casper, Wyoming for its merit in both categories.

The winners of the SWANA Safety Awards will be recognised at WASTECON in Phoenix, Arizona from 21-24 October.

SWANA would like to thank AutocarNew WayOtto and PRECO for sponsoring this year’s SWANA Safety Awards.

For more information on SWANA’s safety programs, visit

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