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Aug 19, 2020

Who’s Responsible for Collecting COVID Garbage?

George Lamb

On Tuesday, we covered the risks that sanitation workers are exposed to when disposing of biohazardous material from COVID-19 patients.  While it falls within the responsibility of the Central Health Region, we were informed earlier today by Regional Manager Melinda Guerra that the respective hotels and facilities being used as quarantine centres are responsible for the disposal of their garbage, contaminated litter included.  But those it bode well for Belize Waste Control which has raised a red flag on unlabelled garbage bags coming in from these locations?


George Lamb, Manager, Belize Waste Control

“If my workers are not aware, if they are not properly protected and they would remove garbage from House A or certain clinics or certain facilities where people who have COVID are, then that exposes them to the virus because, I am not a scientist in this respect but as I understand, the virus can be outside the human body for a lengthy period of time and in some instances, I understand, for more than two days.  I might be wrong but if that‘s the case my guys can be exposed because collection bags rupture, people dispose of loose garbage and also it gets ruptured when you put it in the truck.  So handling is a serious concern to us, so we believe that there ought to be some dialogue between the professionals, the health authorities, service providers, Belize Waste Control so we can ensure that the environment is safe for our workers and they are aware, they are educated enough to handle themselves in a safe manner.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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