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Islanders warned against recycling masks

Islanders warned against recycling masks

Friday 11 December 2020

Islanders warned against recycling masks


Islanders are being warned not to put covid masks in with their recycling, after recent reports of increased contaminants in recycling collections.

In a Parish Notice, St. Saviour Constable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard, said she had been informed by the parish’s recycling partner, St. Helier, that there had been, “...a significant increase of contaminants such as cleaning wipes, tissues and used masks picked up on our recycling collections.”

“Not only are they non-recyclable, wipes can spoil any other material they come into contact with,” she explained.

"They also have to be removed by hand once they reach the sorting facility, which is both unpleasant and unhygienic (especially at this time) for the person doing the picking.

“Such consumables should always be thrown out with your general waste and never disposed of in your recycling bag. Failure to adhere to this request may result in the suspension of our services.”

In response to a request for official advice from Express, recycling head Richard Fauvel explained:  “Masks are non-recyclable and should be disposed of in the same way as household waste.

"This waste will then be processed in the Energy Recovery Facility."

He continued: “For those who are self-isolating or have tested positive for the coronavirus should dispose of masks, tissues and cloths in a secured rubbish bag which should be kept separate from other rubbish for 72 hours before putting it in the usual bin with household waste.

“Covid guidance is available on the Gov.je website.” 

Last month, Express put out a plea to islanders to ensure that masks and other PPE items are disposed of responsibly, after finding hundreds of examples across the island since the beginning of lockdown.

The campaign has been backed by Plastic Free Jersey, as well as Environment Ministers past and present, and numerous other politicians.

GALLERY: Jersey's PPE pandemic...

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