3 Ways to Help Avoid Spreading COVID-19 Through Your Waste Disposal

Trash Collection and The Coronavirus

With Trash Collection being one of the few industries allowed to operate during the Coronavirus shut down we think it’s important to talk about how we can avoid continuing the spread of the virus through your waste disposal. It’s something most probably don’t think about. You put your trash out the night before your pick-up day, your trash disappears. That’s it, right? Not quite. There’s still a very real risk of spreading the virus through trash disposal even if you’ve barricaded your house from visitors and sanitized nearly everything in sight.

We do what we can to assure that our staff stays safe and limit their exposure to the virus. We’re also doing our best to limit the opportunity for the virus to be spread through waste removal service. However, we need help from our customers. Here are three ways you can help prevent the spread of the virus.

  1. Bag your trash and tie the bag shut.
  2. Keep a clean can and clean hands.
  3. Avoid putting payments out for waste collectors to pick-up on route.

Let’s break these down with a little more detail.

1. Bag your trash and tie the bag

The CDC states that the virus is believed to be spread from person to person via respiratory droplets. These droplets could be found on used tissues, paper towels, napkins, cotton swabs, and just about anything else found in household garbage. When we take the lid off of a trashcan full of loose trash (trash that isn’t bagged) to dump it the slightest breeze, or even the act of moving the container can send some of these loose items onto the ground.

We have to pick the items up. We wear gloves when we’re handling trash and picking these loose items up, so it’s much less of an issue for us. Unless, of course, we get hit in the face with one of these loose items. But, whatever is on those loose items is now on our gloves, which we use to pick-up other trashcans.

If trash is bagged we can assure that it is transferred from the container to the truck with limited exposure to what’s actually in the trash itself. This, in turn, limits everyone else’s exposure.

2. Keep a clean can and clean hands

You’ve probably been sanitizing everything in your home, but have your sanitized your trashcan handles and lid recently? It’s probably a good time to give that some thought. You touch them, your family might touch them, we touch them, we wear gloves, our gloves touch trash.

Also, We recommend washing your hands after handling your waste container, or wearing gloves. Even better, wear gloves and wash your hands. It’s best to keep whats in the trash in the trash and off your hands and everything your hands touch.

Ask your waste hauler about a monthly or quarterly billed service that you can send in a check for, or pay for with a credit or debit card.

3. Avoid "On-Route" Payments

This one doesn’t pertain to everyone, but we have a handful of customers who like to give their money directly to the driver that picks up their trash. On-route payments create an opportunity to transfer the virus from one person to another, either directly or indirectly.

I’m not going to go into too much detail because there are so many different examples that could be used to show how transactions like these could spread the virus. However, just think of all the things that are getting handled my multiple people, with or without gloves, throughout the process.

Instead, ask your waste hauler about a monthly or quarterly billed service that you can send in a check for, or pay for with a credit or debit card. Some haulers, like ourselves, offer a pre-paid bag service in some areas. This is a great option for senior citizens and folks to who live alone that don’t generate much waste.

These services allow physical payments, like checks and money orders, to be handled in a controlled environment. Credit and debit card payments made over the phone or online completely eliminate physical contact all together. That’s even better!

We do our best to make sure we do our jobs in the cleanest fashion possible. We wipe the interior of our trucks down daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Our office has been sanitized daily and closed to public walk-ins. However, there are still risks and we’re asking for your help to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus. Let’s kick COVID-19’s butt and get back to living our lives!

Thank you and happy sanitizing!

Heim’s Disposal Service Inc.