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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Another side effect of COVID-19: Too. Much. Trash.

Every day in Houston, people are trashing up our city by tossing tens of thousands of disposable masks and gloves on the ground.

HOUSTON — The City of Houston has launched a new campaign to cut down on litter linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve all noticed the increase of litter around our city,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said when he announced the campaign on Wednesday.

The campaign is called “Don’t let Houston Go to Waste Because Litter Is Trashy.”

Part of the problem is the PPE we’re wearing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The disposable masks and gloves are being tossed to the ground instead of into the nearest trash can.

Turner cited a few other reasons there’s too much trash:

  • With more people working from home, they are cleaning out closets and garages and decluttering. Instead of waiting for heavy trash day, they’re leaving it on the sidewalk.
  • People are ordering more takeout and throwing that trash out of their car windows.
  • More illegal dumping from people moving or being evicted from their homes

The trash spoils the beauty of nearly 400,000 acres of parklands and green spaces across Houston. The City Parks Department already works seven days a week to haul off 200,000 bags of trash from parks every year. 

All the litter also leaves neighborhoods, roadways and public places looking, well, trashy.

And when it ends up in storm sewers and drainage ditches, the chances of flooding increase.

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex Tatum will lead the anti-litter campaign.