COVID-19 has postponed or canceled a lot of events and programs like our Great American Cleanup and Earth Day Celebration. Keep Liberty Beautiful has received several calls on if groups can still clean up their area or collect plastic bottles or cans they find on the roadways. I did some research, and according to Keep America Beautiful, here are some tips and facts about conduction cleanups and individuals collecting recyclables from the side of the road.
As communities across the country practice social distancing, there are still ways to make an impact in your community effectively, but conducting group cleanups right now is not a good thing to do. COVID-19 is reported to live on surfaces for an extended time, according to a recent study at https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces:
1. As an aerosol, for up to 3 hours (e.g., sneezing, coughing, etc.)
2. Clothing – from several hours up to a day
3. Up to 4 hours on copper
4. Up to 24 hours on cardboard
5. Up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel
6. Up to 4 days on glass surfaces like a smartphone
That is why we have asked our Adopt Liberty Groups not to conduct their quarterly group cleanups until our situation change. We value our volunteers and want you to stay safe and well.
Here are some ways to #DoBeautifulThings while keeping yourself and your neighbors healthy and safe:
• Recycling regulations are shifting in some communities due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and guidelines from the CDC. Always check what you can and can’t recycle locally.
• According to the CDC, COVID-19 can live on surfaces for an extended amount of time. By sanitizing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, including doorknobs, sinks, desks, computers, and phones, we can all keep our homes clean and help stop the spread of the virus and other germs. Sanitizing reduces the growth of germs and bacteria, while disinfecting “kills” the germs and bacteria.
• Remember to place used gloves, wipes, and masks in the trash after using them. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is increasingly becoming a litter problem posing a threat to the environment as litter and to those who pick them up. These items should be appropriately disposed of in the trash, not on the ground.
• Take the #BeRecycled Pledge at https://americarecyclesday.org/pledge/, and check out the many ways Keep America Beautiful is working to improve recycling across the U.S. By educating and engaging individuals to recycle correctly, we can help make recycling more economically viable, create jobs, and provide recyclables to manufacture new products and packaging, while continuing to reap more significant environmental and community benefits.
• Take steps to reduce, reuse, and recycle during spring cleaning! You might be surprised to find that many of the items you could have sworn were destined for the garbage can enjoy a useful second life.
We all have to remember to keep ourselves and the environment safe during this time. While we are keeping ourselves protected from this virus, we are generating new and additional waste.
Also, 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.
Please note that recyclable items need to be dry and free of food. Be sure to reduce waste by using the entire product in the container, then lightly rinse and recycle it. For plastic beverage containers, please empty them, and then recycle them. Home items that can be recycled are toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, empty cleaning supply containers, kitchen plastics, clean and dry cardboard, and paper goods, like cereal boxes, and shipping boxes, etc.
To learn more about Keep Liberty Beautiful and events, contact us at (912) 880-4888 or email email@example.com or visit www.keeplibertybeautiful.org