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TerraCycle Plan for the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 15th, 2020

It's been a while since we first wrote here and a lot has changed.  We're finally getting the hang of the discombobulation that this pandemic has caused, so we felt it appropriate to update you all on what we're doing to keep safe.

Firstly, it goes without saying that anyone who can contribute to T-Cycle without needing to be physically in the shop is still working from home.  In some instances, we've even delivered boxes of parts to employees to be assembled at home and then brought back to the shop, to do everything we can to limit the number of bodies passing through the shop.

As far as inside the shop goes, here's a snapshot of what we're doing to keep things clean:

  • Pat, our designated Chief Safety Officer, works in an office at the front of the shop.  As people arrive at the shop, he does a daily temperature check with a non-contact thermometer.


  • Mike and Quintin, our machinists, have been working staggered shifts to limit their overlap in the shop.  When they are in the shop at the same time, they work on projects that keep them separated by much more than the requisite six feet.
  • Aaron and Kevin, who get the parts out the door, work the same shift, but in separate areas.  Aaron is on the shop floor assembling orders, and Kevin is in the shipping/fairing room, sending orders out and making fairings.  When Aaron completes an order, he places it into a bin outside the shipping room and Kevin retrieves it to be packaged and shipped.  They are not currently wearing gloves while they work, but they are washing their hands often.  According to the WHO, the virus should not survive a typical commercial delivery.  This is taken from the Q&A on coronaviruses:

That said, if you are concerned, then we encourage you to check the date printed on the shipping label on the box and allow the package to sit for a few days to let anything that might have been transmitted to die off. 
  • We sanitize doorknobs, switches, faucets, toilets, handles, keyboards, mice, control panels, and tools several times a day, and we have a sanitizing checklist that we mark off as we go.
  • We've changed the routes we walk in the shop to avoid workstations and have distributed common tools for individual use so that people have their own tools and don't need to touch things other people touch. We've even labelled pens and Sharpies so you are only touching your own and you know it.
  • We leave bathroom lights on all day (they are LED, so it's not worth everyone touching the switches) and have changed the bathroom door protocol so we don't need to touch the doors or doorknobs.
  • We've even added foot handles to some doors, which are more awkward to operate at first than they sound. But, fewer things to touch.
  • Basically, we're doing everything we can to maintain distancing and reduce or eliminate touching common surfaces.  We don't even help Roger, the mail carrier, haul the mail out to his truck anymore, which feels weird, but he says he understands. We do open and close the door for him so he doesn't have to touch anything that isn't leaving with him.

Beyond that, everyone is on high alert for symptoms.  It's allergy season here, which means sneezes happen, but we're sneezing into our elbows and washing our hands like crazy.  To be completely honest, and I'm sorry if this is more blunt than it is businesslike: it's not just about keeping our customers safe, it's also that none of us wants to get this, so you can rest assured we're doing everything we can to keep things clean.

Casimir Covert-Keefe
Wearer of Many Hats

March 13th, 2020

We're not doctors, but you don't have to be a doctor to see something serious is going on.  At the time of this writing, Oregon has 30 actively confirmed cases of the coronavirus and large scale testing has not yet begun, which means many more cases might appear in the near future. While we have a small shop, we believe that it is incumbent on everyone to do what they can to slow the spread of the virus, if not for themselves then for those whose immune systems aren't as strong.

Until we have a better idea of how this illness is affecting the Pacific Northwest, the three of us who primarily work in the office will be working from home, and the five of us who work on the shop floor will be working staggered shifts/different tasks to minimize contact.  Anyone feeling ill will be asked to stay home, and we have extended our paid sick leave to ensure nobody has to choose between playing it safe and paying the bills.

These may be more extreme measures than are necessary, but T-Cycle puts wellness far above profits, and right now nobody knows how the next six months will shake out.  Though I hope we can keep everything humming along, I apologize for any delays in orders.

Casimir Covert-Keefe
Wearer of Many Hats