LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Daily routines have been disrupted by COVID-19. One of those changes involves Lackawanna County’s recycling program.
Starting Monday, March 30, municipalities will no longer be picking up co-mingled recyclables due to health concerns.
The coronavirus can live on soda bottles, glass and cardboard for hours or even days.
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientists have found that coronavirus can live on cardboard for 24 hours, and on plastic, glass and stainless steel for two to three days.
“I understand the virus stays on materials for so long, so you have to keep everybody safe,” said Richard Byron of Dickson City.
Lackawanna Recycling Center INC., is trying to do just that.
Municipalities that utilize the center will not pick up recyclables like jars, bottles and cans at curbside. The center, however, will accept newspaper and cardboard.
“They’re just trying to take their precaution to keep their employees safe also,” said Byron.
“I think it’s a good idea, for now. It’s not going to be permanent so anything we can do to stop the spread of the virus, we should do it,” said Edward Kochanski of Throop.
Kochanski visited the center on Friday to recycle cardboard. Week to week, he said he does not have many other recyclables.
He plans to follow Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection by storing clean, commingled items until the Lackawanna Recycling Center reverses its efforts to curb COVID-19.
“I have a spot underneath my deck where I can put plastic bags,” said Kochanski.
If that is not an option, residents who are impacted can put the items in with their normal, weekly household trash to be taken to Keystone Landfill.