The literature on municipal solid waste in relation to COVID-19 is scarce. Based on the experience of Italy, the present article contributes to the strategies aimed at preventing a second virus outbreak. In fact, the mismanagement of municipal solid waste could undermine the strategies during the ease of the lockdown. During the SARS-COV-2 outbreak in Italy, there was a general decrease in the selective collection rate (−15% in one municipality with a well-developed door-to-door collection system). Delays in the publication of guidelines on waste management impacted on the safety of the operators collecting potentially infected waste. Contrarily to expectations, single-use masks and gloves do not have significant impact on waste management, accounting for <1% of the residual municipal solid waste collected annually. However, the dispersion of abandoned masks and gloves outside indoor environments is creating environmental problems. Recommendations on waste management and the protection of waste operators are discussed. Finally, guidelines on the most appropriate waste treatment are presented and analyzed. The results presented in this article show that the MSW management sector has found useful solutions to tackle COVID-19; however, these solutions are not being shared sufficiently. The case study analyzed in the present work could help define strategies for preventing or controlling similar future epidemics or pandemic episodes.

Municipal solid waste management during the SARS-COV-2 outbreak and lockdown ease: Lessons from Italy

Ragazzi M.;Rada E. C.
;
Schiavon M.
2020-01-01

Abstract

The literature on municipal solid waste in relation to COVID-19 is scarce. Based on the experience of Italy, the present article contributes to the strategies aimed at preventing a second virus outbreak. In fact, the mismanagement of municipal solid waste could undermine the strategies during the ease of the lockdown. During the SARS-COV-2 outbreak in Italy, there was a general decrease in the selective collection rate (−15% in one municipality with a well-developed door-to-door collection system). Delays in the publication of guidelines on waste management impacted on the safety of the operators collecting potentially infected waste. Contrarily to expectations, single-use masks and gloves do not have significant impact on waste management, accounting for <1% of the residual municipal solid waste collected annually. However, the dispersion of abandoned masks and gloves outside indoor environments is creating environmental problems. Recommendations on waste management and the protection of waste operators are discussed. Finally, guidelines on the most appropriate waste treatment are presented and analyzed. The results presented in this article show that the MSW management sector has found useful solutions to tackle COVID-19; however, these solutions are not being shared sufficiently. The case study analyzed in the present work could help define strategies for preventing or controlling similar future epidemics or pandemic episodes.
2020
2020
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0048-9697(20)34688-X
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7374137/pdf/main.pdf
COVID-19; Infection; Municipal solid waste; Occupational safety; SARS-COV-2; Selective collection
Ragazzi, M.; Rada, E. C.; Schiavon, M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2127097
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