MILWAUKEE- For those who spend their time cleaning up after all of us, finding personal protective equipment on the ground is becoming an increasingly common sight.
Zoe Jump of Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful says finding a facemask or two, or two-dozen, is not a surprise during their neighborhood cleanups.
“It’s causing another pandemic… a litter pandemic,” Jump tells WTMJ. “We’re seeing a lot of PPE, especially with the snow melting after the long winter.”
Jump says they recently found two-dozen masks during a two-hour cleanup in the Menomonee Valley last week.
As we get closer to the end of the pandemic, though, it’s likely that more people will shed their PPE, or at least slim down the mask collection they’ve amassed over the past 14 months. So what do we do with it all?
Milwaukee Department of Public Works Resource Recovery Manager Samantha Longshore says it’s important to categorize PPE for what it is, “It can be considered medical waste and should be treated as such.”
“They [masks and gloves] should be put in a garbage bag before going in your cart, but not in your recycling bin,” Longshore says.