Dirty COVID Masks Belong in the Trash, Not the Ground
A few weeks ago, I saw a grown man throw a candy wrapper on the ground. I immediately judged him to be a loser in life. Too harsh? Too bad. If there's one thing I have zero tolerance for, it's a litterbug. It's lazy and it's vulgar plain and simple. Far worse than any candy wrapper, paper plate or chicken bone (it's an Albany thing you may not understand it) is the amount of used COVID masks I've seen littered throughout the Capital Region.
I see them everywhere and I'm sure you have too. Tossed on the ground at malls, mashed up against the sidewalk on streets and clinging to potholes in the middle of the road. Heck, while hiking up in the Adirondacks a few months ago, I saw a few tossed on the ground on otherwise beautiful and pristine trails.
Nothing skeeves me out more than seeing an infected, disgustingly gross Covid mask improperly disposed of. The worst part- there's nothing really you can do. I mean, who's gonna pick it up and throw it away? Your mom isn't on this hiking trail buddy, buck up and have a shred of decency.
Every town, city or village does has that one person - usually a jogger - who goes about his or her business wearing plastic gloves so they can kindly pick up the litter left behind from inconsiderate humans. If your city is lucky enough to have an ecofriendly runner, cherish that person because I'm not doing it. I may pick up your Twix wrapper, but I'm not going anywhere near your nasty N95.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recognized the problem recently and addressed it on their Facebook page. They even offered up some helpful and stern advice writing, "Used masks and gloves belong in the trash! Do not litter or put them in your recycling bin. Doing so pollutes the environment, contaminates recycling streams, and puts others at risk."
For a helpful guide to masks, click here.