As many Americans spend more time at home, we are changing the way we purchase and use goods and food. At the same time, there are some supply chain disruptions in the food and manufacturing sectors. There is the potential for households to generate more waste than they did before, but there is also an opportunity to focus on waste prevention, increase your reuse and recycling efforts, and use food more efficiently.
Tips and Reminders During and After COVID-19
- Keep plastic bags, masks, wipes, and latex gloves out of the recycling bin.
- If someone in your home has COVID-19, treat your recyclables as trash.
- Don’t put your recyclables in plastic bags.
- Clean and shake dry recyclables to ensure products get recycled.
- Break down cardboard boxes and put them in the recycling bin whenever possible.
- Put recycling and trash in the appropriate bins, not next to them. Leaving materials next to bins increases risks to sanitation workers and can attract pests.
- Do not put lithium, lithium-ion or spent lead-acid batteries (e.g., car batteries) in your trash or recycling bins. These batteries can contain hazardous materials and can contaminate groundwater or cause fires at recycling facilities. Batteries from electronics and cars can be recycled at specified retail and other locations. You can also check with your city or county to see if they have a household hazardous waste collection program.
- If you are spring cleaning, consider setting aside things (batteries, paints, weed killer, plastic bags, clothing, other donations, etc.) to donate, recycle, or dispose of later when it’s safe to bring them to a drop off location or collection event. Follow local guidelines. Many localities are limiting service (e.g., not picking up yard waste or bulk items at this time).
- Return grass clippings back onto your lawn instead of bagging them.