Latest Coronavirus Coverage

Keep trash cans, recycling bins clean to protect trash workers, DEC asks

Apr 27 2020, 5:20 PM

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation issued 10 key steps every Vermonter can take to protect essential trash and recycling workers from exposure to Covid-19. Following these steps can help reduce unnecessary person-to-person contact and possible virus transmission. 

For Vermonters who have curbside trash and recycling pickup, the department recommends maintaining social distancing and not approaching trash and recycling workers when they come to your house or apartment. They also ask that people make sure all their trash is in a bag and tied and that people wipe down the handles of trash and recycling bins before placing them at the curb and again when you collect them. It also helps to put trash on the curb the night before since waste workers have moved some of their routes earlier in the morning to accommodate an increase in residential waste. 

The department asks that Vermonters learn exactly what belongs in the recycling bin to reduce the burden on waste workers. They also urged people to not put banned and dangerous items in the trash like used oil, propane tanks, paint, electronic waste or household hazardous waste. Such items should be brought to collection events and locations once the state of emergency has ended.

 For Vermonters taking trash, food scraps  or recycling to solid waste facilities, they ask that people to wear a mask and practice social distancing, put all their trash into bags, make sure recyclables are clean and free of liquid, and minimize the number of trips to prevent spread. 

— Sarah Asch

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