April 10, 2020 - With the increase in health and safety precautions being taken during the COVID-19 emergency, the Public Works Department is advising residents that personal protective equipment (PPE) is not recyclable and should be discarded in the trash.
Recycling facilities are seeing an influx of gloves, masks and other PPE. The inclusion of such items can lead to contamination of entire recycling loads.
Residents are also reminded that discarding gloves and masks on the ground is prohibited. If residents witness gloves, masks or other PPE being discarded in the public parkway or other public areas, they are encouraged to contact the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 708.386.3800 so clean-up can be coordinated and officers can address offenders if possible.
Below is guidance from the West Cook Solid Waste Agency on how to dispose of gloves, masks and other medical supplies:
Gloves - If using disposable latex, nitrile, or polyurethane gloves, please throw them in the trash after use. Do not place them in the recycling. Ideally you might find some washable gloves that you could reuse.
Masks - If using disposable masks, please throw them in the trash after use. Do not place them in the recycling. Ideally you could sterilize them with alcohol after each use so they might be used multiple times.
Medical Supplies - CPAP masks, ventilator tubes, or any other PPE or medical equipment are not recyclable. Unfortunately the medical system does not have take-back or recycling programs in place so please throw these items in the trash after use. Do not place them in the recycling.
Recycle right! – As always, residents are reminded to follow the Village’s guidelines for curbside recycling. Details about the Village’s recycling program are available at www.oak-park.us/recycling.
For more information on refuse and recycling in Oak Park, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 708.358.5700.