COVID-19 RECYCLING: Do NOT Recycle PPE, Disposable Masks; DO Make Cloth Masks!

COVID-19 RECYCLING: Do NOT Recycle PPE, Disposable Masks; DO Make Cloth Masks!

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of recycling tips from Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or recycle@countyofkane.org.

Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland is here to help during these strange days of COVID-19.

Below is her advice on recycling or disposal of personal protective equipment, disposable masks, gloves and more!

Do Not Recycle Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment includes gowns, gloves, masks, goggles and more. It is vitally important that unused PPE get to medical professionals. Kane County is accepting donations to assist in the COVID-19 response. Unopened PPE can be donated from noon to 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through April 17 in the parking lot of the Kane County Judicial Center, 37W777 IL-38, St. Charles, IL 60175.

With all of the health and safety precautions being taken currently, recycling facilities have seen an influx of non-recyclable Personal Protective Equipment.

Gloves

If you are using disposable latex, nitrile, or polyurethane gloves, please throw them in the trash after use. Do not place them in the recycling. Ideally, you might find some washable gloves that you could reuse.

Masks

If you are using disposable masks, please throw them in the trash after use. Do not place them in the recycling. Ideally you could sterilize them with alcohol after each use so they might be used multiple times.

Also you could make a reusable cloth mask. My friend made me this custom fashion mask (see image) with furnace filter cloth inside of it. I use it when I go out to the grocery store. It filters the air I breathe and helps me to not touch my mouth, nose and eyes.

Medical Supplies

CPAP masks, ventilator tubes, or any other PPE or medical equipment are not recyclable. Unfortunately, the medical system does not have take-back or recycling programs in place so please throw these items in the trash after use. Do not place them in the recycling.

Please Recycle Right!

Remember to closely follow the guidelines for curbside recycling, and only recycle the materials listed in the YES portion of this Recycling Guidelines Poster.

COVID-19 Recycling Information

Please see here for more updated information regarding Program Status in relation to COVID-19.