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Sanitise your bin during pandemic

During each stage of the lockdown, one thing remains constant – your household and workplace will produce waste. To ensure clean and healthy environments during this pandemic, all waste will need to be removed.

“Government can’t manage this alone,” says Brindha Roberts, head of sustainability at Averda, a company that specialises in waste management.

“Everyone should take personal responsibility for the disposal of their waste and for preventing the spread of Covid-19, supported by existing government structures.”

Sanitised waste

It’s generally a good idea to sanitise your bin. The rationale behind this is simply that waste collectors touch thousands of bins in a day’s collection, meaning that they are at greater risk of contracting Covid-19 from the multiple touch points that they encounter, and that if they have the virus, they can pass it on to many households.

To disinfect your bin, you can use a regular hand sanitiser – 70% alcohol is recommended for Covid-19 – or you can use a household bleach solution.

The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that bleach should be used at a concentration of at least 5% to 6%, with a contact time of at least one minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application.

Roberts adds however that there are concerns that some of this health waste is not being dealt with correctly as many South Africans are self-isolating at home or may not even be sure they have the virus and waste items like tissues are disposed of in their regular rubbish bins.

“These waste streams are not only isolated to the medical field in hospitals or clinics, but also to persons who may be recovering athome,” says Roberts.

“If you have the slightest suspicion that you may have the virus or are feeling under the weather, it is advisable to double bag your waste and take extra care to sanitise your bins when you are disposing of it.”


Countries across the world have reported that lockdown has seen a rise in illegal dumping of waste, as people use this enforced time indoors to undertake clear-outs. Dumping is a major problem in South Africa generally, but with the lockdown this has become prevalent.

People are urged to avoid illegal dumping of materials, now during the Covid-19 crisis more than ever, as improper disposal of waste encourages disease and attracts vermin. And let us not forget this comes with a hefty fine if caught.

Places like Averda offer different solutions if you’d like to do a spring-clean.

People can book their services online and the company comes out to collect all different wastestreams.

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