Handling Trash During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Commercial Zone Blog

April 29, 2020

Handling Trash During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Essential business employees are working hard to keep themselves and customers safe and healthy. We encourage these employees to take extra care for their waste containers to reduce health risks for staff.

Employees of essential businesses like grocery stores, C-stores and gas stations are working hard to keep themselves and customers safe and healthy. During the COVID-19 global pandemic, even some of the more basic routine work activities now come with a higher level of stress and an added layer of caution.

Consider the job of taking out the trash, which is done several times a day to keep stores attractive, clean and sanitary. This simple task now requires focused attention to strict safety guidelines for workers that are being strongly enforced. Contact with soiled surfaces, as well as potentially contaminated debris, poses health and safety risks to employees. Think about how many people use trash containers each day and what they are throwing out. Germ City!

For the safety of workers on the job during the COVID-19 crisis, Commercial Zone encourages our essential business employees to take extra care of waste containers to reduce health risks for staff. According to Dr. Frank McGeorge in Detroit, “everyone should naturally assume garbage is contaminated – not because of coronavirus but because it’s garbage and contains decomposing material.”

Dr. McGeorge recommends that all trash receptacles and recycling bins be cleaned more frequently to remove surface bacteria and sanitized with anti-viral cleaners to kill disease-causing germs. Stainless steel containers, like those in the Commercial Zone Precision Series®, have smooth, poreless, hygienic surfaces that otherwise could harbor dirt or bacteria. Containers that are made from polyethylene, like the Commercial Zone PolyTec™ Series, are easy to clean with all-purpose spray cleaners or mild antibacterial soap and water.

Following are other select safety guidelines and tips for handling garbage and recyclable items that, if put into practice, will help employees and customers feel as safe as possible.

  • Trash should be bagged with the liner bags securely tied shut.
  • Recyclable items should be empty and loose (not bagged) in the bin.
  • Make sure only accepted items are placed in recycling bins. (The less sorting workers have to do to remove non-recyclable items, the safer they are.)
  • Wear protective gloves while removing trash bags and debris from the waste containers and recycling bins and carrying them to the dumpster.
  • Carefully dispose of and replace gloves after each use to avoid cross-contamination with other items and surfaces.

When containers and surrounding areas are kept sanitary and proper protocol is followed, the spread of disease can be slowed, resulting in healthier customers, staff members and waste collectors. Proper use and maintenance of trash receptacles and recycling containers helps make retail environments a little safer and healthier for everyone.