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Masks, gloves go in the garbage, cities tell residents

Several cities are urging residents to throw their disposable masks, gloves and wipes in the garbage, not the recycling bin.

York Region — which includes Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan — says residents have increasingly been putting those items in the recycling or the green bin since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

It says that can put frontline workers at a higher risk of getting and spreading the novel coronavirus.

Starting Monday, York Region says waste workers in those cities will not empty blue bins with those items and will place a warning sticker on them.

Meanwhile, the City of Toronto has been asking residents since March to put tissues and paper towels in the garbage instead of the green bin, and says masks and gloves have always belonged in the garbage.

Toronto and neighbouring Peel Region also say they’ve seen an increase in masks and gloves littering outdoor spaces and are urging people to place those items in the trash.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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