Pandemic brings more trash to South Shore curbs

Trash cans are lined up along Taunton Avenue in Rockland for curbside pickup.

Mary Whitfill, The Patriot Ledger 4/22/2021

QUINCY – Every cleaning product, bottle of hand sanitizer and package of masks ordered online for the last 13 months has come with packing material, cardboard boxes and more work for local trash collectors.

Since the start of the pandemic, hundreds of tons of additional household waste has hit the curb on pickup day, and South Shore officials say they don’t see it stopping anytime soon. 

“That’s something we’ve been saying for a while, that we need to make these simple swaps for reusable products, and then COVID came along and scared the heck out of everyone with this idea of ‘You don’t want to touch anything that has been used,’ and that ended up not even being true,” said Claire Galkowski, executive director of the South Shore Recycling Cooperative. “The paper industry and the plastic industry, I think, really took advantage of the situation to do damage to the reuse movement, which is really the direction we need to be going in.” More

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