Many of you are likely working extra hard to keep your families and communities safe, clean and healthy. For many, that means cleaning hands and surfaces more frequently, staying home and maintaining safe social distances.
Waste hauling is essential business for keeping our communities safe and clean. So while we’re all following orders to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, our trash and recycling is getting picked up and managed as normal. In order to keep those doing the work safe and protected it is important to be extra mindful of what you’re putting in your bins.
Properly diverting and separating your waste is as important as ever these days, but you might be dealing with some extra items you’re not used to disposing of. Be aware of which bin these items should to go into, and follow these tips to make sure you’re safely disposing of waste.
Be Careful with these Materials!
- Disinfecting wipes should always be thrown away in the trash – never in your recycling, compost, or flushed down the toilet, according to Eagle River Water and Sanitation District!
- Paper towels are normally compostable (not recyclable), but we have to be extra careful with anything that has potentially come in contact with viruses, according to Eco-Cycle. If you are or might be sick, please throw paper towels away in the trash, not in your recycling, compost or flushed down the toilet. Additionally, please do not compost any paper towels that have been used with disinfectants or bleach.
- Just like paper towels, tissues are generally compostable. However, any tissues used for coughing or blowing your nose should go in the trash, not compost, if you are or might be sick.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the coronavirus causing COVID-19 can be spread through food, so keep composting food scraps if you have access to composting. In fact, if you’re finding yourself cooking much more these days, consider signing up for the residential compost drop off program!
Waste Disposal Tips:
- It’s more important than ever to recycle right. We want to protect the health and safety of our waste haulers and processors, and that means ensuring that everything going into your recycling bin is safe. Many recyclables are sorted by hand, so haulers are being extra cautious and may reject contaminated bins. Never put food or hazardous materials in your recycling bin!
- Never put plastic bags in your recycling bin! Plastic bags in the recycling always pose a health and safety risk, as they cause shut downs at the processing facilities and can compromise the health of employees if they rip them open to sort materials. If you bag your recycling at home, make sure you are emptying the recyclables and throwing the plastic bag in the garbage.
- Check the Eagle County Waste Wizard if you’re unsure where to put an item. It’s always better to know before you throw, and the Waste Wizard is a great tool to stay educated on recycling rules. You can also ask recycling questions through the app and the Wizards will get back to you!
Vail Valley sewer systems seeing more unflushable items, Vail Daily
Residential Compost Program