In accordance to a global examine revealed in June 2020 in Environmental Science and Know-how, researchers from Portugal and Canada who centered on the usage of private protecting tools (PPE) decided the world was throwing out three million masks alone each minute. The researchers additionally raised issues about PPE ending up in landfills, presumably inflicting environmental contamination.
So when a scholar submitted an thought to Allison Maxted’s workplace at Mohawk School in Hamilton suggesting the faculty provide recycling of disposable masks, she took it on with enthusiasm, launching this system final summer time. Since then, the school has diverted greater than 260,000 masks from landfills. It’s amongst a number of native tasks attempting to defray the elevated waste in the course of the pandemic.
Maxted, supervisor of sustainability at Mohawk School, says the college buys zero-waste containers from Terracyle, an organization that focuses on recycling supplies that aren’t accepted in blue-box pickup. The containers are positioned at campus exits, then shipped to the corporate once they get full. Maxted mentioned the polyethylene that makes up the majority of a masks is recycled into inflexible plastic and used for decking and out of doors furnishings, the ear straps are used for playground resurfacing, and the nostril wires are metallic so are eliminated and recycled within the traditional manner.
The faculty has spent $30,000 to this point on this system, together with quite a few containers that haven’t but been used. Every particular person field prices between $223 and $243 earlier than tax. “There are at the moment no plans to finish this system, nonetheless we are going to proceed to reassess this primarily based on the masking atmosphere as issues transfer ahead,” Maxted mentioned.
To learn the total story, go to https://www.cbc.ca/information/canada/hamilton/mask-recycling-mohawk-college-hamilton-1.6430417.
Creator: Saira Peesker, CBC
Picture: Mohawk School