How Covid-19 has increased waste and disrupted rubbish collections worldwide

All around the world coronavirus has been disrupting rubbish collections and has added to an increase of waste everywhere. Masks, gloves and other single use protective gear has been littered throughout streets, while the high use and production of these single-use products has caused an increase of waste. On top of this, countries everywhere have been in quarantine and lockdown which has disturbed many rubbish collection services and shut down local dumps to the public.

Hong Kong was the first to see the impact as used masks were found littering their beaches. While in Louisiana and other US states, gloves and wipes littered the streets and it has gotten so bad that people are posting photos on social media of the used sanitary products scattered on the street. People are growing increasingly concerned about the littering of the protective gear as it is a safety hazard and increasing the environmental problem, as all the protective gear is made of plastic and the litter will go down drains and end up in the ocean and be eaten by wild life causing them to choke and die.


USA and Hong Kong are not the only places that have been affected due to Covid-19. Rubbish collection drop off sites in Waterloo and Cambridge in Canada have been shut down and will finally be reopening on May 4th. Whereas Bangkok has seen a 15% rise in plastic waste due to people spending more time at home and buying delivery services with plastic packaged fast-food due to Covid-19. Also rubbish collection services in Brussels, Belgium has been disrupted due to storage of staff because of the outbreak resulting in some waste not being collected.

So how did Covid-19 affect New Zealand’s waste? As kiwis, we were lucky that our rubbish, recycling and scrap bin collections were considered essential, so we haven’t had any problems with disposing of our usual household rubbish. However, Auckland Council announced on the 1st of April that covid-19 had affected the process of disposing of paper and cardboard waste produced and disposed of by households. Auckland’s paper and cardboard waste will be dumped into landfills until further notice rather than being recycled. This is due to changes in the international trade and buying of processing paper recyclables. (Source)

As well as paper and cardboard being placed in landfill, the Auckland council inorganic collections are being postponed from the 26th of March, and no bin removals, exchanges or minor repairs will be done until further notice.

Also, the Waitakere Refuse and Recycling Centre has decreased its hours to the public and is only accepting refuse and green waste.

Here’s where we can help! Our team can come pick up and clear any rubbish and garden waste that you have accumulated over the level 4 period. Whether it’s the inorganic collection, a single item, green waste or hazardous waste, we can dispose of it for you. Just send us an email or call us on 0800 386 763 for an estimated quote.

Share the Post: