Pol.Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, Governor of Bangkok, talked about the management of the used face mask waste, with rapid increase in numbers during the new surge of COVID-19 infections, that the total amount of COVID-19 infectious waste in Bangkok, including the used face mask waste collected and disposed from health facilities that treat and care for COVID-19 patients and the quarantine premises, during December 15, 2020 – April 12, 2021, was 1,366.29 tons, or at the average of 11.48 tons/day. During the outbreak in April 2021, from April 1 to 12, 2021, the amount of COVID-19 infectious waste tended to rise to 12.92 ton/day or increase at an average of 1.44 ton/day, accounting for 12.5%.
In order to facilitate the public regarding the used face mask disposal, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has provided special waste bins for medical/surgical face masks (orange bins) together with red waste disposal bags for medical/surgical face masks at about 1,000 spots in public places, namely, district offices, the BMA public health centers, the BMA affiliated hospitals, Bangkok City Hall (Sao Chingcha), Bangkok City Hall II (Din Daeng), the BMA affiliated schools, the BMA sports centers, the BMA youth centers, fire stations, public parks, and other public places as deemed appropriate such as markets, temples, communities, in front of department stores, office buildings, and housing communities. The BMA also controls and inspects the waste disposal to prevent the littering of other types of solid wastes. The collected used face masks and COVID-19 infectious waste will be disposed of in incinerators for infectious waste at Nong Khaem and On Nut Refuse Disposal Centers.
The Governor of Bangkok also added that the BMA requested the kind cooperation from the public to properly and correctly dispose the used face masks and do not mix them with other domestic or general wastes in the households. The used face masks must be put in a plastic bag, tie the bag tightly, write or clearly label them “medical/surgical face masks”, and separate from other waste before giving to the district offices’ garbage truck or disposing them in the special waste bin for medical/surgical face masks (orange bins) provided at the designated spots in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is also for the safety, health, and hygiene of the garbage collectors as well as the convenience in collecting and disposing waste based on sanitation guidelines.