Coronavirus outbreak: Improper disposal of facemasks poses threat to garbage workers

Updated: 26 March, 2020 08:07 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

At a segregation centre in Kandarpada, Dahisar, eight to 10 workers separate recyclable and non-recyclable waste from five to six dumpers of dry waste and then send the non-recyclable items for disposal

Cops punish a person for flouting the lockdown rules. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Cops punish a person for flouting the lockdown rules. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced a lot of people to use facemasks, but the problem lies in the fact that they are not being disposed of properly after use, which is eventually becoming a threat for the garbage workers. The quantity of masks in dry waste has increased exponentially and this might prove hazardous for the workers who handle huge amounts of waste daily.

After these masks are disposed of in bins, they are taken to the dry waste segregation centre in each ward, where workers separate them from the wet garbage.

At a segregation centre in Kandarpada, Dahisar, eight to 10 workers separate recyclable and non-recyclable waste from five to six dumpers of dry waste and then send the non-recyclable items for disposal.

Speaking to mid-day, ex-corporator, Abhishek Ghosalkar from Dahisar, said, "In the last 15 days, the number of disposed of masks has increased drastically. It is hazardous for the garbage workers as well as for others. There is a particular way of disposing of masks and people should follow it." He added that they would be conducting a live online session on Facebook on March 29 from 11 am to 11.40 am where experts will guide people on how to dispose of used masks safely.

Admitting that it is a problem, a senior official of the Solid Waste Department, BMC, said, "We are appealing citizens to cover the masks with paper or put them in a pouch before throwing them in waste bins."

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First Published: 26 March, 2020 07:30 IST

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