News Article Details

PPE In Waste Stream

Nov 4, 2021

A new report is offering insight into how much additional trash is ending up in Metro Vancouver landfills amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, tabled by Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee, found that an estimated 528 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) were disposed of in 2020 — about 194 items for every resident.  Gloves were the most commonly disposed item (about 136 per person), followed by masks (about 40 per person).  Synthetic wipes, not including paper towels or toilet paper, came in third, at about 18 per person.

The report notes the more than half-a-billion items of PPE may be an undercount, “as it is uncertain if overall contributions of personal protective equipment from health-care waste, which contains high concentrations of certain personal protective equipment, have been accurately estimated.”

Despite the high number, the items still only represented about 0.5 per cent of the region’s total waste in 2020.  Additionally, while a high number of PPE items were disposed of in 2020, the amount of other single-use products ending up in landfills was actually down compared to 2018, and overall waste disposal dropped by about 4.0 per cent.

Disposable cups and utensils saw the largest drop, which Metro Vancouver attributed to impacts in the business sector. Retail bags and takeout containers saw the largest increase, as people shifted to restaurant takeout and delivery amid provincial health orders and guidelines.

Last year was the first year Metro Vancouver tracked PPE in its waste stream, though Fulton said it would monitor the effects going forward.

The region has also created a new website with information on safe disposal of PPE and washing instructions for reusable items. 

  • All about Peak Disposal Services Inc
  • Photo Gallery
  • Latest Peak Disposal Services Inc. Company News
  • Our Environmental Responsibility
  • Our commitmnet to the LEEDs program
  • What gets recycled with each load

Which Area Are You In?

Not sure if we service your area? Select the
area you live in above and find out if our
services are available in your area.
  • Request A Disposal Bin Rental Quote
Looking to get a quick price on disposal bin
rentals? Click the button above and fill out our
quote request form.

Available Bin Sizes

Use the arrows on the left and right side to scroll through our available disposal bins. For more information on a particular bin, just click on the bin.