Residents urged to correctly dispose of used coronavirus facemasks

Residents in Birmingham are being urged to follow government guidance on how to dispose of waste during the coronavirus crisis after Birmingham City Council’s waste team found bin bags with used face masks spilling from them.

According to government advice, any Covid-19 related waste should be double-bagged and securely fastened before being presented for collection. It is also suggested that surfaces such as bin lids and handles are wiped before and after collection to minimise risk.

However in this case, no such precautions had been taken by those responsible. To ensure their safety, the crew refused to pick up the waste which is collected weekly from the block in question.

Cllr John O’Shea, cabinet member for Street Scene and Parks, said: ‘I was shocked and saddened when I heard about this and saw the pictures that our crew had taken.

‘It is always important to present our waste in the correct way for our crews to collect it – but in this current situation, it is absolutely critical to get it right.

‘Our crews have the correct protective gear for their duties. Presenting open bags of rubbish with used face masks puts our hard-working frontline employees at risk as well as other residents in their block.

‘It really is quite simple. If we do everything we can to stop the spread of coronavirus we will be protecting the NHS and saving lives. A small number of people in this isolated case are putting that at risk – and I hope that making the people of Birmingham aware of this ensures we all put out our waste safely.’

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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