PEI

Island Waste Management reminding Islanders wipes go in the garbage

Island Waste Management is reminding Islanders that wipes belong in the waste bin, not the compost. And those wipes should never end up in the toilet. 

Also offering up tips to keep waste collectors safe as P.E.I. works to limit spread of COVID-19

Gerry Moore, CEO of Island Waste Management, says sanitary wipes can cause serious plumbing problems if flushed. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

Some people on P.E.I. may be using sanitary or disinfectant wipes more than they usually would in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC) is reminding Islanders that wipes go in the waste bin, not the compost.

And never in the toilet.

"They're really not meant to be flushed," said Gerry Moore, the corporation's CEO. 

"It could create some plumbing problems that you probably don't want to have to deal with at this time," he said. 

Moore says he encourages Islanders to sanitize the handles of their compost and waste bins when dropping them off or picking them up from the curb. (CBC )

Moore said the wipes can clog toilets and cause damage to septic systems and the municipal pipes if flushed. 

When throwing the wipes out, Moore said Islanders should make sure they aren't loose in the waste bin so they won't fly around when collectors come to pick up the carts. 

Moore said Islanders should also put their facial tissue in a compostable cardboard box, to keep them contained as well. 

Moore said Islanders can help keep IWMC employees safe from COVID-19 by taking extra precautions when putting their bins at the curb. 

"We're suggesting that they sanitize, you know, the cart handle when you are placing it curbside and when you're retrieving it, you know, use a wipe or use gloves … so that you're not in contact with the cart," he said. 

"Just sanitize it as much as you can every time you're taking it to the curb or retrieving it from the curb."

Extra precautions from drivers

Moore said drivers have also been given more instructions and education on how to stay safe during pickups.

That includes using hand sanitizer and gloves, and disinfecting the truck and themselves on a more frequent basis, he said.

"They are taking extra precautions for themselves and when they're off-loading and loading vehicles and driving." 

As more Islanders are either working from home or self-isolating, Moore said staff sometimes have problems getting to the carts to pick up. 

"We're finding that when we we go into the parking lot the access to the carts is blocked with cars. And obviously if that's the case we cannot collect, which can cause some backlog issues for particular apartment buildings," he said.

"If we can't get there, we can't collect them." 

More from CBC P.E.I. 

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