Rapid antigen tests and masks have no place in Tasmania’s recycling systems, waste management groups claim. | The Examiner

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Tasmania’s recycling sorting centers have reported an alarming increase in the volume of rapid antigen tests, testing instruments and face masks ending up in household recycling bins. Regional waste management groups including Northern Tasmania Waste Management, Southern Tasmanian Waste Management Group and Cradle Coast Waste Services are on a mission to educate Tasmanian households on how to properly dispose of used tests and masks, highlighting that neither RATs nor face masks can be recycled and both belong to general waste. With used masks and RATs found by staff at the recycling center, with some tests showing a positive result, the groups stressed they were clinical items and posed a health risk when not in use. not disposed of properly. READ MORE: Why Tasmania chose to have fewer COVID tests for pupils ‘From a staff safety perspective, obviously [RATs are] a product that contains bodily fluids. So we don’t want our staff exposed to this unnecessarily,” said Ms Cheryl Fuller, spokesperson for Cradle Coast Waste Services. Michael Attard, team leader for sustainability at the City of Launceston, said RATs and masks were interfering with sorting machines. composite materials and when you have composite materials, they are very difficult to separate and recycle,” Attard said. Ms Fuller said placing any kind of non-recyclable items in recycling bins made sorting extremely difficult and could contaminate recycling loads. “If we collect a lot of trash cans in a neighborhood or suburb that has high levels of contamination, then oftentimes all of that load will end up going to landfill because the contamination rates are too high for us to sort through,” he said. said Ms. Fuller. READ MORE: An uphill battle: Derby community before and after bikes Groups urge people to wrap or wrap used tests and swabs before throwing them in the trash, especially where unused trash bags are . Waste management groups are also asking people to cut disposable mask straps before throwing them away to reduce the threat to birds that reside around landfills. Ms Fuller said the waste industry wanted to work with governments and manufacturers to offer a recyclable product in the future, but it was still too early. Mr Attard said he was sure an avenue for recycling would come soon. READ MORE: Restaurants’ willingness to serve deer could be a health risk, says box hunter Mr Attard urged those in doubt to direct their questions to their local council or regional waste management group, or visit the Reth!nk Waste Tasmania website or Facebook page. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: Follow us on Google News: The Examiner