When the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, people around the world were naturally thrown into a state of chaos. After all, this virus has the capacity to spread rapidly without proper precautions. Throughout the crisis, you’ve probably been searching for multiple ways to practise better hygiene, sanitise your groceries, and ultimately protect yourself from the virus. However, you should also not forget to dispose of your waste responsibly too.
Due to the number of large-scale home quarantines, along with the growing number of asymptomatic individuals, some percentage of rubbish classified as ‘medical waste’ is bound to come from houses. Of course, this also poses as a risk to sanitation workers. No one knows the exact level of danger that skip bin collectors are exposed to. However, as responsible citizens, we should ensure to take precautions in order to protect the people around us.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
According to the World Health Organization, you can catch the virus from other people who have it. COVID-19 can spread from one individual to another through small droplets that escape from the mouth or nose. These droplets can land on another person or the surfaces and objects around them. Keep in mind that an individual can become infected after touching these contaminated objects or surfaces. So, aside from practising social distancing (staying at least 1 metre away from other people), we should also ensure to maintain proper hygiene.
How Long Does COVID-19 Stay on Objects and Surfaces
There are no definitive studies that conclude how long COVID-19 stays on surfaces and objects. However, experts say that it behaves a lot like other coronaviruses. Research suggests that most coronaviruses can persist on surfaces for a couple of hours up to several days. The duration may vary depending on certain conditions, including the humidity of the environment and the type of surface. As such, it is critical to always wash your hands before and after handling food and waste. Remember to clean your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 70% concentration. Moreover, avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
How to Handle Residential Waste
As more people take further precautions in preventing the spread of COVID-19, clinical waste such as masks and gloves are also beginning to come from homes. According to AS 3816:2018 Management of Clinical and Related Wastes, any type of rubbish that may cause infection, injury, or offence falls under the ‘clinical waste’ category. Considering how dangerous COVID-19 is, it is better that we consider any type of waste as infectious.
Now, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, the government is urging you to be more cautious when you’re disposing of your waste. Doing so will avoid passing the virus to others within your home and beyond. Personal rubbish such as face masks, disposable cleaning cloths, and tissues should be discarded securely. Remember to place them in a rubbish bag, then place that first bag into another bag. Tie the bag securely, then separate it from all other household waste. We recommend that you keep the junk in your yard or garage for 72 hours (at the minimum) before placing it in the bin.
Proper Communication with A’n’K Budget Bins
As much as we want to help our clients manage their junk comprehensively, our team at A’n’K Budget Bins are legally prohibited from handling hazardous waste. As such, we encourage our customers to get in touch with us and inform us about the types of rubbish that they are planning to dispose of. Moreover, since COVID-19 may stay on objects and surfaces for a few hours up to a couple of days, we may require longer lead time for skip bin pick up. After delivering the container to you, we ask that you please give us at least three days before we return back to collect the container. In this way, we can ensure the safety of our personnel, who will be handling your waste.
To get more information on handling your residential waste amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, contact A’n’K Budget Bins today.