SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The City of Sikeston is asking residents to properly discard personal protective equipment in the trash.
Officials say improperly disposed of PPE can make its way to storm drains.
“As the city’s stormwater coordinator, it’s my job to make sure our stormwater get out of town as clean and litter free as possible.”
Sikeston stormwater coordinator Darren Martin said after seeing used PPE on the ground, he decided to reach out to the public.
“So as education material, I posted on the city’s Facebook page an article related to why we should make sure we get our PPE cleaned up," he said.
On the ground, you’ll usually find a used mask and other PPE. City officials say they are finding more PPE on the ground, which eventually makes its way to storm drains.
“While I’ve been driving around town, I’ve been noticing a lot of discarded facemasks, rubber gloves laying on the streets, on storm drains, and in parking lots.”
This puts fresh storm water at risk for contamination.
“So I did some research on what could happen as far as some of the stuff getting in the stormwater. And, the rubber gloves a lot of times will break down chemically once it gets in the water like that," he said.
This can pollute the environment.
“Once you throw it away in the street, it gets into the storm drains, which makes its way to the streams, and lakes," he said. "It eventually makes its way to the ocean. Which is bad for fish and wildlife and in turn makes it bad for us.”
City Officials say properly disposing of PPE, so it doesn’t end up in storm drains, helps fight the infection of storm water.