To recycle or throw away your used masks, gloves and PPE; city officials weigh in
After using masks and gloves, you might think it's a good idea to recycle them but officials say that's not the case.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — After using masks and gloves, you might think it’s a good idea to recycle them but officials say that’s not the case. Throw them in the trash.
“So, these can not be recycled,” says Willa DiCostanzo, a city waste diversion coordinator. “Your gloves, even though they may be a plastic, they can not be recycled. Definitely, your masks can not be recycled either. So those need to go into the trash and not into the recycling bin.”
Again, that includes used one-time-use masks, plastic gloves, and scrubs.
While we’re on the subject of recycling, you may notice new signs and more bins for cardboard at recycling sites. The city also has updated its guide that you can find online to help decrease your waste footprint.
“We don’t just need to see our blue trash can and just fill it up with anything that we think is recyclable,” adds DiCostanzo. “As we are in this system of single-use plastics, it’s important to think about how you may be able to mitigate your waste.”
With more people staying home and ordering from home, DiCostanzo reminds you to recycle those toilet paper rolls in the paper bin, cardboard boxes in its bin, and a growing issue, bubble wrap.
“These can not go into your either curbside bin or any of our bins that are consumer recyclable collection sites,” said DiCostanzo. “These are stretchy, that can go to some of your grocery or retail stores that collect that plastic.”
She adds to continue cleaning out your bottles and recyclables, as it helps the essential workers as they sort and slows the spread of COVID-19.
“We have people that are out on the line every day continuing to do this work,” says DiCostanzo. “So, when you have recyclables at the curb, just make sure they are staying in that container for the safety of everybody. Holler out your window when you see somebody (a worker) and tell them to thank you.”
Officials say recycling the right way, is still a great responsibility and a good thing to do during the pandemic.