02 April 2020 Media Statement: Domestic waste handling guidelines for those in self-isolation due to COVID-19 infection

Media Statement

For Immediate Release

02 April 2020

The Municipal Health and Waste Management Units of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Local Municipalities would like inform the public about important guidelines regarding the proper handling and storage of domestic waste generated by all positively identified COVID-19 residents.

ā€œResidents tested positive for COVID-19 must be inĀ self-isolation, and the guidelines we provide must be followed to protect essential workers and anyone else who comes into contact with domestic waste,ā€ said Johan Compion, GRDM Manager: Municipal Health Services.

These guidelines are aligned to national guidelines and exist to curb the spread of the coronavirus to the waste management services personnel and other residents.

The GRDM Multi Agency Command Centre appeals to the public to be responsible and to adhere to the guidelines before placing waste outside for kerbside removal.


  1. That all waste items that have been in contact with individuals that are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 (e.g. used tissues, disposable cleaning cloths, gloves, masks, etc.) are disposed of securely withinĀ aĀ black refuse plastic bag,Ā separateĀ from the rest of the householdā€™s refuse.
  2. When full, the black refuse plastic bag should then be placed in a second black refuse plastic bag (double bag) and tied to prevent any waste from spilling from the bag.Ā  Additional black refuse plastic bags will be made available to those who tested positive for COVID-19. The distribution of these bags will be done by GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners.
  3. Double-bagged refuse bags Ā must be stored separately for five (5) days in direct sun, before being placed outsideĀ yourĀ home for collection by a local municipality. The safest option would be to store bags for an additional week before domestic waste collection is done. This will ensure thatĀ the COVID-19Ā virus is killed.
  4. In the case of wheelie bin removal service, residents are reminded to have all personal hygiene and sanitary products double bagged (placed within two small plastic bags) before placing waste inside a bin. Examples of personal hygiene and sanitary products are tissues, used gloves and masks, etc.)
  5. Residents are requested to please sanitize or wash hands with water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling wheelie bins or black refuse plastic bags. This measure is to protect both the public and the essential refuse removal teams.
  6. Residents are requested to sanitise wheelie bin handles and wheelie bin covers.
  7. Residents are requested to refrain from approaching refuse removal personnel. Please keep a distance of 2m at all times.
  8. The black refuse plastic bags or wheelie bins can be placed out for kerbside removal after the above mentioned steps have been followed.
  9. Please put your bags and wheelie bins out for collection, as close as possible to the time of arrival of the waste collection services.
  10. Please secure the bags in order to ensure that your pets do not have access to the bags to prevent them from tearing the bags or spilling the contents.

Please be aware that this guideline might be updated in the near future and that changes will be communicated.


Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
E-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za

Garden Route District Multi-Agency Command Centre