coronavirus gloves

Malochka Mikalai/Shutterstock

Gloves, Masks and Other Personal Protective Equipment Are Not Recyclable

Throw them in the trash
coronavirus gloves

Malochka Mikalai/Shutterstock

Many people are wearing latex gloves to protect themselves from the coronavirus when in public and at the grocery store, although it’s technically not advised. If you’re one of those people, it’s important that you know how to properly dispose of them once you’ve taken them off. Do not throw them on the ground — that’s littering medical waste — or in the recycling bin. Used gloves and other personal protective equipment belong in the trash.

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Recycling facilities are seeing a surge in coronavirus-related items such as single-use masks, gloves and cleaning wipes that are mistakenly being sent to sorting centers instead of the landfill.

According to Jennifer Jarland, a recycling coordinator in Kane County, Illinois, disposable latex, nitrile and polyurethane gloves should be thrown away after each use. Not to worry — latex, the most popular glove material, is biodegradable and will decompose over time.

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The World Health Organization recommends that any items that could be contaminated with COVID-19 be discarded immediately in a garbage bin with a lid. Gloves, masks and wipes are not recyclable, and they never have been. To extend the life of your face covering, use one made from cloth and know how to wear it properly.