Play your part and keep caring for our bin collection crews

18 August 2020

Cheshire West and Chester Council is urging residents to securely bag up coronavirus waste after an increase in used face masks being found in the borough's recycling boxes.

Following the wearing of face masks becoming mandatory in shops from 24 July there has been an increase in people disposing of their used face masks in recycling boxes - putting collection crews at risk of catching COVID-19. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as disposable gloves and face masks are not recyclable and should be disposed of securely in a general waste bin.

Disposable masks and gloves can be put in litter bins when people are out and about, but if no bin is available they need to be taken home, put into a bag and then securely fastened before going into the black bin.

Advice has been published on the Government's website, and it is important to remember that if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, any medical waste or masks and gloves should be bagged separately and left for three days before going into your black bin.

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Councillor Karen Shore, the Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: "Our crews have the correct protective gear for their duties but putting used face masks in recycling boxes puts our hard-working frontline employees at risk, as well as potentially other residents.

"The wearing of face masks and coverings will help to stop the spread of COVID-19 but they also need to be disposed of properly. Masks and gloves dropped as litter pose a health risk to StreetCare teams who have been working hard throughout lockdown to keep our borough clean and safe.

"Washable cloth face coverings are more environmentally friendly than disposable ones, which cannot be recycled and end up in landfill.  There is lots of information online on how to make your own face covering - including the Gov website."

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