Letter to the Editor: Used gloves and other personal protective equipment makes for hazardous litter

In this troublesome period, it is good to note that sanitation workers in both the public and private sectors are responsibly removing solid wastes on a timely basis and sending it to safe disposal locations.

In Delaware, the Delaware Solid Waste Authority has three exceptionally safe engineered landfills that accept daily solid wastes from residences, commercial, governmental, and health care agencies. The landfills are strictly monitored and operated. Their performance is tested and reported to the state regulatory agency. The landfills have been safely operating since early 1980s

Hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices segregate their waste discards into two types of containers – red bag, and other. Red bag wastes are sent to facilities that safely treat them by steam autoclaving or microwave or incineration facilities duly permitted by environmental regulatory agencies. Other wastes are picked up for disposal in landfills.

We should tip our hats and say a prayer for the welfare of all those sanitation workers who support our public health system and keep us safe.

For we also have many careless people who litter public spaces with used gloves, masks, and paper products. Those discarded products can harbor infectious viruses. 

If we want to mitigate the COVID-19 coronavirus infection in a timely fashion and return to normalcy, everyone must follow the simple rules issued by state and local governments. The small fraction of the population that fails to follow the simple rules just extend the time for winning the COVID-19 war.

To state it simply: “Don’t litter – safely dispose” your used gloves, masks and paper products in waste bins. Let us keep Delaware clean and safe. Stop the dangerous litter.

N.C.Vasuki P.E. BCEE
CEO (retired), Delaware Solid Waste Authority