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The Impact that COVID19 has on the Waste Management Industry

Waste Management Industry
Published: January 25, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about new challenges in pretty much every aspect of our lives. With the country’s stay at home orders, as well as strict lockdowns in certain areas, Australia has seen a drastic increase in household and medical waste. All of this creates challenges and changes for waste disposal and management. However, in these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever that we ensure that waste management services are keeping up with industry and local standards in terms of safety, hygiene and efficiency. Our team at Solo Resource Recovery make sure that this is followed through, to provide our clients with robust waste management services through these challenges.

Pre-pandemic, Australia produced around 67 million tonnes of waste each year. This year, however, the number seems to be getting significantly higher. This is result of the increased waste coming from households and the healthcare industry, and the increased pressure put on manufacturers and distributers of essential products and services. This includes supermarkets, pharmacies, transport and more.

Household and general waste

Inevitably, the stay at home orders has caused a huge increase in household waste. In fact, a Sydney local council had reported a 35% increase in domestic waste! There are many reasons to this. More and more people are looking for different ways to kill boredom during their time at home. Online shopping is a popular time-killer, leading to increased volumes of waste production from the packaging of shipped products. House improvements and redesigning has also become more common, and this often leads to small scale construction waste.

As well as household waste, there has been a huge influx in single use products. This was intensified by the panic buying caused by sudden state lockdowns. There has been a huge increase in the use of single use face masks, gloves, sanitisers, cleaning products and other protective gear, all of which continue to hugely contribute to landfill and plastic pollution.

Medical waste

Sustainable and efficient management of medical waste has proved to be problematic during the pandemic, with waste management services having to optimise their existing systems to accommodate for this drastic increase in medical waste. This is especially difficult because medical waste holds the risk of exposing patients, workers and other personnel to the virus. Not only this, medical waste can also cause injuries from sharp objects, can contain toxic and hazardous chemicals, and so, must be dealt with a great deal of care and with the correct procedures.

Waste management operators

Of course, throughout the pandemic, effective waste services have been crucial, and this means that often times, operators and drivers in the waste management industry come into contact with household, industrial and medical wastes, essentially increasing their own exposure to the virus. This means extra precautions are taken to ensure that contamination and direct contact with waste is minimised to reduce additional spread of the virus, and to accommodate for these changes, the existing waste management systems are improved.

Here at Solo Resource Recovery, we are continuing to advance our waste disposal services so that we can continue to provide the highest quality waste management plans for our clients. To learn more, contact us at 1300 46 76 56 or via our website.

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