Waste Management guidelines on disposing used face masks and gloves

KENNEWICK, WA - We have seen photos of beaches in California, littered with used masks and gloves. While that may not be the case here, you still need to know what to do with your PPE when you are done using them.

Waste Management in the Tri-Cities focus making sure they are doing all they can to keep both our economy and environment safe.

Waste Management's Communication Manager, Gary Chittim said there is more stuff they pick up. He said if they have good and clean recyclables, then they are in good shape. But, he wants to make people aware that face masks are not recyclable. Neither are gloves and sanitary wipes.

"Waste management hates to see anything go to waste," Chittim said. "So our recommendation is, if you made those homemade masks, wash them, put them in the drawer and safe them for next time."

Chittim said the best thing to do is to save your cloth mask. They can be washed and used in case of another outbreak. He also said to throw gloves and wipes in the garbage.

"There not like a typical tin can or aluminum can, in which we love to get in your recycling bin or cardboard boxes or paper, all dry and reusable recycling," Chittim said. "That's what we are after and that is what the market is for."

Not only should you not put your face masks, gloves and sanitary wipes in recycling bins, you should also not flush those items.

"It may say on the box, it's a flushable sanitary wipe, it is not," Chittim said.

Chittim said flushing those would clog up the sewer system.

Waste Management's goal has not changed. They are committed to maintaining a healthy, green community. For more information about their truck routes or recycling list, you can visit their website at wm.com.