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Don’t be reckless! Here’s How to Dispose of a Mask Correctly

  • Share, JAKARTA – Masks that function as protection can turn into a disaster if they are disposed of carelessly after being used because they have the potential to become a medium of transmission.

Siti Nur Hayah Isfandiari from the Yogyakarta Special Region Health Office explained that disposable masks must be disinfected before being disposed of with disinfectant or chlorine.

“Then we cut it out and change the shape of the mask so it can’t be reused,” said Siti in a health webinar, Saturday (21/8/2021).

Collect used masks that have been disinfected in plastic, wrap tightly with a dead knot. Separate mask waste from household waste. Don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and running water after disposing of the mask.

Garbage produced by patients who are self-isolating at home must also be managed properly, he said. If in one house there are people who are not infected with Covid-19, the waste management of self-isolated patients must be carried out according to procedures so as not to infect other healthy family members.

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“Separate waste from people who are sick and healthy. Sort it. If it is not managed properly and is not disciplined, everything can be infected,” he said.

Covid-19 waste from residential homes that have become self-isolation facilities must be packaged in airtight sealed plastic, not leaking and tightly tied.

Veronika Adyani from the DIY Department of Environment and Forestry explained how to tie a plastic bag containing waste that should not be too full, should not be stepped on by foot or compacted by hand. Pull the plastic slowly until the air in the bag is minimal. Do not push the bag down or puncture it to expel air.

This bag containing infectious waste cannot be tied up carelessly. “Don’t tie the bunny ears because they can open again,” said Veronika.

Tie it in a dead knot for added security. This waste can only be stored for a maximum of two days from the time it is generated in a closed container.

Hana Nur Auliana, Head of Communication & Engagement at Waste4Change, reminded the need to pay attention to the welfare and safety of workers who take care of waste.

Because, just like health workers who are faced with the risk of being infected with Covid-19, waste workers also face the risk of being exposed if Covid-19 waste is disposed of improperly. He said that the lack of protection such as the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for waste workers could endanger them.

Based on Waste4Change’s internal data in 2019 in Jakarta, as many as 50.8 percent of the community did not sort waste and 49.2 percent of the community sorted waste. In the midst of the pandemic, he suggested at least sorting household medical waste such as medical masks, medical gloves, used mucus wipes and disposable tableware for Covid-19 patients from other household waste.

If you want more detail, Hana describes five categories of Waste4Change-style waste that can be applied at home. First, organic waste such as food waste, fruit, vegetables, leaves and plant branches. This organic waste can also be processed into compost which is useful for plant lovers.

Second, recycling waste such as plastic bottles or cups, plastic bags, food packaging, glass bottles, plastic stationery, cans, paper to cardboard.

Third, household medical waste. Fourth, waste of hazardous and toxic materials such as electronic waste, printer ink, light bulbs and medical waste. Lastly, residual waste such as foam sachets, textiles, wet wipes, plastic that is soiled with oil, cardboard or paper from wet food packaging as well as styrofoam.

Source: Antara

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