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Pick up after yourself! Keep Knoxville Beautiful reminds us to properly dispose of wipes, mask, and gloves

The supplies meant to protect us from COVID-19 can also spread the illness if not disposed of properly.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Y'all pick up after yourselves!

That's the message from Keep Knoxville Beautiful, which is urging all Knox County residents to properly dispose of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), including used sanitizing wipes, masks, and plastic gloves. 

Those items belong in the trash, not on the ground.

“We have been seeing more and more wipes, gloves, and other related items on streets and walking trails, or being left behind near supermarkets and pharmacies,” said Alanna McKissack, Executive Director of Keep Knoxville Beautiful.

The basic rules for proper trash disposal are taking on greater importance, given the COVID-19 virus, she said. 

“These materials are being used to protect us from possible contamination from COVID-19. If they are not disposed of properly, we are risking the spread of this life-threatening virus.”

Most stores that provide wipes to clean off a cart also have a trash can nearby. If you are carrying your own supplies, just find a trash can to dispose of them in.

Keep Knoxville Beautiful suggests keeping a bag inside your vehicle for easy disposal.

“No one wants to spread the disease, so we must be careful to properly dispose of these materials,” McKissack said. She also discouraged people from picking up wipes or gloves they see littered, because they could be contaminated. “If you used the PPE, it’s your responsibility to dispose of it,” she said. 

Keep Knoxville Beautiful has suspended all public and private litter cleanups until further notice. Once in the clear, Keep Knoxville Beautiful will work strategically with partners and volunteers to host and support community cleanups. 

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