The Golden Rule & Covid-19 | Recycling and Waste Management

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 27, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

“Do unto others as you want them to do to you.” ~ The Golden Rule

It’s exciting to see that recycling has been deemed an essential service during covid-19, but keeping these dedicated waste management employees safe during the global pandemic is equally as important.

With everyone stuck at home, there’s now more home garbage than ever before. Further, the vast majority of us are ordering the bulk of our purchases online, and having it delivered, so there’s likely a mountain of recyclable cardboard boxes associated with each household. And how about glass bottles from our favorite alcoholic beverages? Many manufacturers rely on these particular recyclables to produces their products. Cardboard and glass are two of the more essential components of the supply chain for recyclable manufacturing.

So, how is recycling being handled during covid-19? There seems to be conflicting accounts depending on the state and local municipality.

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Here’s what we know according to The Recycling Partnership:

  • even though deemed essential, many communities are suspending curbside recycling pickup so please check with your town’s waste management website
  • if your locality has drop off recycling, please try and take advantage of this, while maintaining the safe protocols of a facial covering and gloves, manufacturers are desperate for these materials
  • cities will have much tighter budgets in the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, many towns are discussing cutting back on curbside recycling pickup, so we have to make plans each week to drop off recyclables at drop off centers
  • states and municipalities are still trying to work out the best way to handle plastic PPE and recycling, hard plastic can be recycled, but it can be dangerous, (more information below)
  • Wipe garbage bin handles down before rolling to curb, and wear gloves when pushing the bin to curb

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Additionally, there are specific rules regarding how to handle waste and recycling if anyone in the household has tested positive for covid-19.

  • No garbage brought to the curb during the 14 day quarantine period
  • add an additional 72 hours to the 14 days for recycling

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Our individual actions are life and death for many in our communities. It’s very important that we follow the guidelines to keep everyone safe. The golden rule has never meant more than it does right now. Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. ♻️

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