GenSan urges residents to dispose face masks properly

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 3 Nov) – The city government here urged residents on Tuesday to properly dispose used face masks and other related wastes amid the continuing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ferdinand Pareja, head of the city’s Waste Management Office (WMO), said the used face masks and related items are considered as medical wastes and should be properly disposed and disinfected starting at the household level.

He issued the reminder amid reports on the proliferation of improperly disposed used face masks in parts of the city.

“These might eventually end up in our rivers and coastal areas, and create further problems,” he said in a radio interview.

Pareja said households should destroy or tear down used face masks, especially the surgical types, and properly disinfect before disposing them.

He said these should be placed in yellow-colored garbage bins and properly labeled to facilitate their proper collection and disposal at the city’s sanitary landfill in Barangay Sinawal.

The official said they assigned separate trucks that collect the medical and other potentially contaminated wastes.

These are disinfected upon arrival at the sanitary landfill complex and before their disposal to the designated waste cell, he said.

“We have assigned a special team to properly inform our households and establishments about the proper disposal of these wastes,” Pareja said.

He said they have also increased their engagements with the barangays and accredited garbage collectors to ensure that the wastes delivered to the sanitary landfill are properly segregated.

WMO issue citation tickets to violators to facilitate proper compliance to the waste segregation policy, he said.

The wastes generated by the city’s households and establishments have continued to increase these past years and was projected to reach over 380 tons this year based on a study conducted by the local government.

The city council had proposed for the establishment of a medical waste treatment facility and a plastics recycling center to help improve waste management at the sanitary landfill complex. (MindaNews)