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May 02

COVID-19: Dispose gloves, masks and medical waste properly

Posted on May 2, 2020 at 4:50 pm by Nicole Acker

As concerns surrounding the coronavirus continue to grow, more and more people are increasing safety measures by wearing masks, gloves, and using disinfectant wipes in public; however, many aren’t disposing of these items properly causing more litter, public health and environmental hazards.

As we take safety precautions to reduce our exposure and chances of getting infected with the virus, we need to be mindful that personal protective equipment like gloves, masks, tissues and disinfectant wipes should be thrown into the trash. These personal protection items are contaminated once used and should not be placed into recycling bins.

Most importantly, these items should not be left in shopping cars, in parking lots, or thrown out the windows and left in the environment. In addition, workers and some good members of the public are obliged to pick up these littered items, which put them at risk of self-contamination by potentially exposing them to these germs. Take off your gloves and mask safely and throw them both in the trash or place them in a plastic bag (i.e. a baggie or store bag) until it can be put in the trash. 

We are urging the public to be more responsible and not to dispose their used face masks, gloves, and wipes indiscriminately. Throw used face masks, wipes, and gloves into proper waste bins, or bring them home for proper disposal. Besides the obvious health risks, rubber gloves pose a danger to sewer systems and the environment. Gloves can wash into storm drains and block them up and can also wash into lakes, rivers and the bay causing environmental hazards.

This comes down to be being a responsible community member by not throwing trash on the ground. It's more important than ever to be mindful of those around who could get infected by used gloves and masks. Let’s be respectful and considerate of our fellow community members and take care of our environment.