Image Courtesy of leo2014 at Pixabay

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful is issuing an urgent call today for all Rockford residents to properly dispose of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), including used sanitizing wipes, masks, and plastic gloves. These belong in the trash, not on the ground or left in your shopping carts.

We have been hearing from more and more people who are seeing wipes, gloves, and other related items on streets and walking trails, or being left behind near supermarkets and pharmacies.

The basic rules for proper trash disposal are taking on greater importance, given the COVID-19 virus.  These materials are being used to protect us from possible contamination from COVID-19. If they are not disposed of properly, we are risking the spread of this life-threatening virus.

If a store provides wipes to clean off a cart, it likely has a trash receptacle nearby. If consumers are carrying their own wipes or gloves, make sure to properly dispose of used gloves, wipes, and masks in a trash receptacle at the store or have a bag inside your vehicle to place the items in to dispose of at home.

“No one wants to spread the disease, so we must be careful to properly dispose of these materials,” Pam Osborne, Executive Director of KNIB said.  She also discouraged people from picking up wipes or gloves they see littered, because they could be contaminated. “If you used the PPE, it’s your responsibility to dispose of it,” she said.

National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful sent an urgent alert to its more than 650 nationwide affiliates, including Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, asking them to spread the word among their millions of volunteers. “We will get through this, working together and looking out for one another,” they added.

If you or someone in your home has tested positive for the coronavirus, do not recycle your recyclables; place them in a bag that is securely closed and discard them in your trash container. This also applies to any used cleaning supplies, paper towels, tissues, or PPE generated within a home or business with someone who has tested positive. Most cleaning supplies, however, can be recycled. For tips on recycling during this crisis, please visit: Or go to our Facebook page under Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful for more information.

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