Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Challenge for Waste Collection Companies and Society: A Case Study in Poland
- providing bags assigned with a “C” label or of a designated color,
- collecting waste at least every seven days,
- providing direct transportation from collection points to the incineration plant or treatment facility for proper treatment of the waste, and
- disinfecting the containers or waste bins.
2. Materials and Methods
Conflicts of Interest
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|Local Government Office||Waste Collection Company|
|Do you know what is correct method for disposal of waste personal protective equipment (PPE)?||Yes/No|
|How do you dispose of PPE—face masks or gloves?||Collection together with mixed waste|
Collection in other separated bags
Collection separately (together with plastics)
Disposal of wherever available
|Which method is correct for the disposal of waste PPE?||They can be disposed wherever possible|
They should be placed in a separated waste
They should be placed in mixed waste
Special bags or containers should be provided
|Have you noticed any improper methods of waste PPE disposal?||Yes/No|
|Are there any improper methods of PPE disposal?||Disposal of wherever available|
Wrong category of waste selection
|Have you any idea how to support waste PPE collection?||Automatic dispensers for PPE with an option to collect used PPE|
Special colors for bags for waste PPE for residents
Preparation of special collection points for waste PPE
Mobile application to facilitate collection of waste from quarantine
|Factor||Value||Number of Responses|
|Type of habitation||Urban||87|
|Population of municipality||<5000||54|
|Entity||Measures Taken||Number of Municipalities/Number of Inhabitants in Municipalities||Process Type|
Waste Collection from Quarantine Points
Waste Transportation and Processing from Quarantine Points
|Local government environmental department||None or minor||2/100,000||The collection is in accordance with the regular schedule, with the same timeline||No additional vehicles or routes required, processing is conducted with separated or mixed waste|
|Major or significant||9/700,000||The residents are required to use additional bags for PPE; the collection is postponed up to nine days; in some cases, local administration delivers special bags or containers||The local authorities require additional routes or use of special vehicles for medical waste. If the routing is conducted on an ordinary schedule, the quarantine points must be the last visited|
|Waste collection company||None or minor||14/950,000||The collection is in accordance with the previously assigned schedule, the same containers, waste bins or bags used||The same collection vehicles and processing as for normal operation—the employees in the waste processing plants are equipped with protective gloves and glasses|
|Major or significant||2/365,000||Additional bags provided to quarantine points; if available red color of bag required, the bags remain quarantined additional 48 h in the waste collection company warehouse.||Transportation by additional vehicles, if available—vehicles for medical waste are used, the waste after collection is directed to incineration plant|
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Nowakowski, P.; Kuśnierz, S.; Sosna, P.; Mauer, J.; Maj, D. Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Challenge for Waste Collection Companies and Society: A Case Study in Poland. Resources 2020, 9, 116. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100116
Nowakowski P, Kuśnierz S, Sosna P, Mauer J, Maj D. Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Challenge for Waste Collection Companies and Society: A Case Study in Poland. Resources. 2020; 9(10):116. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100116Chicago/Turabian Style
Nowakowski, Piotr, Sandra Kuśnierz, Patrycja Sosna, Jakub Mauer, and Dawid Maj. 2020. "Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Challenge for Waste Collection Companies and Society: A Case Study in Poland" Resources 9, no. 10: 116. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100116