The growing number of people home sick with the coronavirus COVID-19 has made household garbage a greater hazard.
Add to that the increase in people being treated at hospitals for the virus, the amount of masks, tissues and other contaminated waste products is growing rapidly.
The problem becomes a potential health risk not only to those caring for coronavirus patients, but to waste management workers and junk hauling professionals.
Health Risks Growing With the Number of COVID-19 Cases
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal notes,
"Medical-waste processors are handling more masks and gowns, while collectors worry about infected recycling and garbage."
While waste management workers, including junk hauling and removal professionals, have always treated waste with caution, this is different.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued numerous guidelines for preventing infection and the spread of the coronavirus. Specifically for waste disposal practices they advise the following for households:
"Place all used gloves, facemasks and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste in lined receptacle."
In addition to the practice of "double-bagging" contaminated waste, the CDC also suggests the following steps:
- Treat all waste as infectious waste and handle it with care.
- Use single use disposal gloves to handle any waste or trash bags.
- Seal or tie off all trash bags so that waste cannot escape easily.
- Double bag if there are any concerns with the durability of the bag.
What About Junk and Yard Waste?
One example of these guidelines is provided by the City of Arlington, Texas:
- Place all trash in tightly secured plastic bags
- Do not place trash in boxes or other unsecured receptacles.
- Do not place trash into any type of container. Only trash bags are acceptable curbside
- Do not place bulk and yard waste out for collection at this time. Due to the expected increase in residential trash volumes, crews must focus on collecting normal household materials that pose a health risk to the community
- Continue to place recyclable materials loosely into recycling bins
- DO NOT bag recyclable materials. It takes additional work for recycling crews to de-bag these materials. De-bagging materials can also pose a health risk to employees.
While these guidelines are designed specifically for municipal waste removal, they can apply to the household junk and yard waste that gets picked up and hauled off by junk removal companies.
Because of the risks that contaminated household garbage pose to people in a home, it is anticipated that the overall volume of trash will increase and many residents will want it removed sooner or more frequently. This means that firms like Junk King will be providing more trash and garbage removal services for households.
But what does that mean for workers in the industry?
According to a recent article at Bloomberg.com,
"Covid-19 poses several unique challenges for the U.S. waste collection and disposal industry and the 467,000 workers employed by it. Above all, it is likely to generate a surge in solid medical waste such as used surgical masks and empty IV bags.
[T]he U.S. has sufficient capacity at specialized medical waste treatment centers to manage whatever is generated in hospitals and other medical facilities. In fact, it’s been managing medical wastes safely — including wastes far more hazardous than items carrying coronavirus — without much public notice, for years.
But there’s a related problem that isn’t so easily solved. Large-scale home quarantining, combined with large numbers of asymptomatic individuals, means that at least some of the medical waste generated in the U.S. (including all those masks) will be in home and office garbage and recycling bins. Nobody knows how much of a risk Covid-19 waste poses to sanitation workers."
Because businesses such as Junk King have been designated as essential services, the challenge for the industry is to keep everyone working, safe and healthy while continuing to keep up with the growing demand for waste management services.
Your Safe Choice for Junk Removal
Junk King is your safe choice for efficient, safe and eco-friendly junk removal and household trash hauling services so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of debris, trash and junk - especially after you're done cleaning and disinfecting.
Whether you need our services several times during a cleaning project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the garbage and junk is out of your way so that you can get on with your work - or play!
We can be at your home or office in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle much of the material we pick up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).