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Coronavirus: How to throw out trash and keep Vancouver sanitation workers safe

City of Vancouver changes garbage rules during COVID-19 crisis
The City of Vancouver is asking its residents to throw some compostable household products in the garbage. Linda Aylesworth explains why.

The City of Vancouver has issued guidelines on how to dispose of garbage during the novel coronavirus crisis.

The city, which declared a local state of emergency last week, says there are no changes to garbage and green bin collection, but asks residents to take extra precautions when throwing out certain items.

Vancouver can enforce social distancing with fines
Vancouver can enforce social distancing with fines

The following items should be disposed in securely-tied garbage bags, set out in a bin, and placed in its regular collection area.

  • Personal hygiene products
  • Used tissues
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Face masks
  • Gloves
  • Sanitary wipes, even those listed as flushable or compostable
  • All similar items

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Residents caring for someone who is sick need to double bag all personal waste in plastic garbage bags, securely tie all bags shut, and dispose of as regular residential garbage.

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Three recycling and disposal facilities remain open for vehicle drop-off only: the Vancouver Zero Waste Centre, Vancouver South Transfer Station and the Vancouver Landfill and Recycling Depot.

READ MORE: City of Vancouver approves social distancing violation fines

Residents are asked to only visit the Zero Waste Centre or Landfill Recycling Depot if necessary, and not visit is they are not feeling well.

Those who do come by are asked to wash their hands before and after their visit and keep a safe distance from other people.

Squire’s Take: The importance of proper hand washing
Squire’s Take: The importance of proper hand washing

Centres will only accept debit or credit card payments.

Residents are asked to consider storing bulky items and other recycling materials until after the pandemic.

The following services are suspended or cancelled:

  • Clothing and textiles drop-off
  • Compost pick-up
  • Composter sales
  • Landfill educational tours
  • Landfill open house
  • New drywall disposal (used drywall is still accepted at Vancouver Landfill)
  • Styrofoam/polystyrene foam drop-off