COVID-19 has made us all think more about health and safety. At the same time, the pandemic has caused businesses and households to generate more waste either because families are spending more time at home or because cleaning has increased. Not surprisingly, municipalities throughout Chicago are seeing a rise in waste related to sanitation, including paper towels, disinfectant wipes, mops, and cloth towels. Garbage collectors play an integral role in containing the spread of disease within communities, but as essential workers, they are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. The following tips can help business owners and families dispose of waste in a way that keeps garbage collectors and the communities of Chicago safe.
What Can Businesses and Homeowners Do to Help?
One thing you can do is sanitize trash and recycling containers each week. You can do this by washing the handles and lids with hot water and soap or you can use a cleaning product with alcohol in it. It is also important to make sure you do not overstuff your bins. Both garbage bags and garbage containers should be properly sealed before your scheduled pickup. This means making sure bags are tied tightly and lids are closed. Keep in mind that while trash needs to be stored in plastic bags, recyclables should be loose.
It is also important to check with your local government’s sanitation department. Most municipalities have guidelines regarding waste collection, including specifics regarding when to put bins in the curb and what items can and cannot be placed in trash/recycling containers. Many municipalities right now have also suspended pickup of bulk items, as well as items that are placed outside of containers. That said, you can help keep sanitation workers safe by practicing social distancing. If possible, make sure you take trash and recycling out the night before your scheduled pickup.
To show your support for the brave men and women keeping the neighborhoods of Chicagoland clean, let them know you appreciate the important service they perform for the community. Here are other ways you can show appreciation:
· Leave cans and containers as clean as possible
· Don’t overfill trash bins
· Wave hi from a safe social distance
· Please Be patient.
· There is more trash than usual. Schedules may be behind.
During a state of emergency, communities need to stick together and look out for each other. The team at SBC is committed to keeping Chicago clean. We greatly appreciate every measure families and businesses take to help keep our garbage collectors safe. Together, we will get through these difficult times and come out the other side.