ATHABASCA - If you’re putting it in or on your body, Dr. Recycle doesn’t want to see it in the blue bin.
Wendy Harrison, owner of the recycling company that picks up in Athabasca and Boyle, said people need to be aware of what they are putting into the bins and things like masks, gloves, medication, sharps, and food are not on the list.
“You even touch everything that you put in there so that's why we're just asking people if you're waiting for your COVID results, or if you are isolation because you have COVID, don't put your recycling out until you're all clear,” she said.
She added there is no research saying you can get COVID-19 through recycling, but there is also no research saying you cannot.
“That’s why they’re asking us to do all our door handles and things like that,” said Harrison.
For recycling to be “clean” it cannot have tissues, paper towel, sanitary wipes like baby or alcohol, no medical waste of any kind, or food waste. If they do, your recycling will not be collected, Harrison said.
“Those are items that we put on our program that we don't normally accept anyway, but a face mask is a new one because we find them all the time,” said Harrison. “But even then, it's two products. People don't understand not only is it paper, but it also there's string on it. That's not paper. That's not recyclable. So, it's garbage. We just ask people to dispose of those in their garbage.”
She noted it is not just for the safety of the Dr. Recycle staff, but the staff at Athabasca Regional Waste too, who also handle the recycling.
“I'm just trying to keep my staff safe and working. God forbid If one of us goes down and then we’re all down,” she said.
Harrison’s staff collect the blue boxes, sort them and deliver it to the waste site north of Athabasca where Athabasca Regional Waste staff sort it again.
“It’s just to remind people to hold onto it, until you know if you’re good,” she said.