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Article

Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Challenge for Waste Collection Companies and Society: A Case Study in Poland

Department of Logistics and Transport Technologies, Faculty of Transport and Aviation Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, 40-019 Katowice, Poland
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Resources 2020, 9(10), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100116
Received: 31 August 2020 / Revised: 18 September 2020 / Accepted: 27 September 2020 / Published: 28 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal and Industrial Waste Management)
One of the social measures applied during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)—face masks and gloves. As a result, this waste category has expanded enormously. This study investigates waste management issues from multiple perspectives, including local governments, waste collection companies, and individual citizens in Poland using a telephone survey for institutions and an online questionnaire for individuals. The results of this study show that approximately 80% of local governments in the Silesian region have applied special measures for handling and collection of waste PPE. Only 13% of waste collection companies have applied special collection schedules for the waste generated at quarantine collection points due to the high costs of changing collection schedules, providing additional vehicles, and paying for more labor. The information campaigns focusing on new methods of PPE waste collection have been difficult to introduce on a large scale, and citizens need better information regarding how to handle and dispose of waste PPE. Results indicated the most helpful method in supporting waste PPE collection would be automatic PPE dispensers with waste PPE collection options and waste bags of a designated color. The respondents identified waste PPE pollution of the environment as an issue and the necessity for proper recovery of this waste stream. View Full-Text
Keywords: personal protective equipment; disposal of face masks and gloves; COVID-19; waste collection; medical waste personal protective equipment; disposal of face masks and gloves; COVID-19; waste collection; medical waste
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MDPI and ACS Style

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

AMA Style

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/resources9100116

Chicago/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

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