The coronavirus outbreak has left people scrambling to find supplies to keep them safe from contracting the disease. But some in New York and New Jersey have noticed that some of these supplies are not being properly disposed of after use.
Suffolk Country resident Shabana Aziz spotted the issue when she went to the grocery store. Used gloves covered the parking lot of the Stop & Shop in Amityville she went to on Sunday, prompting her to take a video. Discarded gloves were strewn across the lot.
The sight surprised her, because many of her friends and family who lived in Manhattan were posting videos and pictures showing how few people were out in the streets. “When I went grocery shopping, I was shocked, because I thought everybody in New York, for the most part, was taking it seriously,” Aziz said.
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She felt like it was irresponsible, saying the gloves could have easily been thrown away. “All of those people could have easily just walked back in, the automatic door would have opened, you didn’t have to touch anything, and they could have just put it in the garbage.”
In Queens, New Yorker Judson Snell noticed the same problem. He posted a picture of a mask and gloves thrown on the sidewalk to Reddit, saying he was seeing masks and gloves "discarded all over the place."
Snell said he took the photo on Saturday at Yellowstone Park in Forest Hills, Queens, but that it certainly wasn't the only instance of it he'd seen.
"Ironically, there is a trash can about six feet away on either side of this. We have been seeing this more frequently, I overheard a NYC park cleanup crew member say, “I don’t get paid enough for this s__t” in frustration this morning."
In New Jersey, #EyesonNJNews reported a similar issue in the parking lot of a South Jersey mall, with video footage showing gloves scattered across the lot. They said a worker told them as many as 100 pairs of gloves were found on the ground per day.
The NYC Department of Sanitation said overall, the department was seeing dramatically reduced pedestrian traffic, and with it much less litter on NYC streets. But it asked that New Yorkers place masks and gloves with their other garbage material in securely tied heavy duty black bags or leak proof receptacles with tightly fitting lids.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said they would refer to the local city laws on the proper disposal of waste.