Local Nonprofit: Watch Where You Toss Used Wipes & Gloves

Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful Inc. recently issued an urgent call for all county residents to properly dispose of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), including used sanitizing wipes, masks and plastic gloves. These belong in the trash, not on the ground.

“We have been hearing from more and more people who are seeing wipes, gloves and other related items on streets and walking trails, or being left behind near supermarkets and pharmacies,” said Lourdes Ferris, executive director of nonprofit Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful.

The basic rules for proper trash disposal are taking on greater importance given the COVID-19 virus, she said.

“These materials are being used to protect us from possible contamination from COVID-19,” Ferris explained. “If they are not disposed of properly, we are risking the spread of this life-threatening virus.”

If a store provides wipes to clean off a cart, it likely has a trash receptacle nearby. If consumers are carrying their own wipes or gloves, make sure to properly dispose of used gloves, wipes and masks in a trash receptacle at the store or have a bag inside your vehicle to place the items in to dispose of at home.

“No one wants to spread the disease, so we must be careful to properly dispose of these materials,” Ferris said.

She also discouraged people from picking up wipes or gloves they see littered, because they could be contaminated. “If you used the PPE, it’s your responsibility to dispose of it,” she said.

National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful sent an urgent alert to its more than 650 nationwide affiliates, including Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, asking them to spread the word among their millions of volunteers. “We will get through this, working together and looking out for one another,” she added.

Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful is also continuing to encourage residents to recycle during this time. “Our partners at the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County are currently holding a fun, virtual ‘Recycle Right Challenge’ with prizes for those who complete the 10-day challenge,” Ferris said.

For details, visit www.swa.org/633/SWA-10-Part-Recycle-Right-Challenge.