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Advice on disposing of face coverings

  • 7 August 2020
  • Number of views: 474
Advice on disposing of face coverings

From 8 August it will be law to wear face coverings in indoor settings including beauty salons, hairdressers, museums, community centres and places of worship. It is already compulsory to wear them in shops, supermarkets and on public transport.

Councillor Stephen Craddock, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing said:

“With Walsall residents required to wear face coverings in more places it is important to understand how to dispose of your face covering correctly to reduce the spread of coronavirus.”

“We recommend the use of reusable face coverings as these can be washed and then reused to prevent waste. If you do use disposable face coverings then they should be thrown away after each use.”

If you need to dispose of your face covering, and no one in your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating, please follow the following guidance:

  • Place them in your black bin if at home, or a litter bin if you are outside
  • You do not need to put them in an extra bag, and you do not need to store them for a time before throwing them away
  • Do not put them in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled.  

If you or a member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus and self-isolating, you should continue to use your black bin collection service as normal, with the following important exceptions:

  • Store your personal waste including used face coverings, tissues and disposable cleaning cloths securely within disposable rubbish bags.
  • Place each bag into another bag, tie them securely and keep separate from other waste.
  • These bags should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your black bin for collection.
  • Please do not take this waste to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Councillor Stephen Craddock, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing added:

“Face coverings should cover your mouth and nose and once you are wearing one it is important that you do not touch it or your face. Handwashing remains vital in reducing the spread of coronavirus so remember to wash your hands before and after removing your face covering. It is vital that everyone plays their part to keep Walsall communities safe by wearing a face covering if they are not exempt and by disposing of it safely.”

For more information about face coverings, please visit the Government website.


Notes to editors

This page explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored. This information is based on current scientific evidence and is subject to change.

Public Health England states that Children under three should not wear face masks as they could cause choking and suffocation.

Some people do not have to wear a face covering. They include:

  • Children under 11
  • Those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability
  • People for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • Anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate

You can take off your mask if:

  • You need to eat, drink, or take medication
  • A police officer or other official asks you to or if shop staff need to verify your age
  • You are entering a shop to avoid harm, if you do not have a mask with you
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