Red River College is working with TerraCycle, a New Jersey company keeping masks out of landfills and recycling them.
The college says it uses about 6,000 disposable masks every month.
“It is so common to see disposable masks just lying about all over the place,” Sara MacArthur, Red River College’s director of campus planning and sustainability, said.
“COVID has brought a lot of waste, in a lot of areas. There’s a lot more disposables and single-use items, all the takeout containers and gloves,” said MacArthur. “Implementing a reusable mask program is one thing we can do to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill.”
The college created three bins on its Notre Dame campus to collect the disposable face coverings.
Once full, they’re then quarantined for 72 hours before being trucked off to New Jersey.
Once there, the company turns the metal nose piece into metal sheeting, while the polypropylene part of the mask is used for composite decking and shipping pallets.
“For other businesses, schools or people who want to develop a program like this, TerraCycle has the zero-waste boxes and it’s a fairly simple process.”
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