Disposable face masks made of polypropylene, polyethylene and vinyl can take up to 450 years to break down.
The City has recently partnered with TerraCycle, a waste management company that recycles non-woven disposable plastic-based masks, including three-ply surgical, dust masks, KN95 and N95 masks through their Zero Waste collection boxes.
The City will be trialling two Zero Waste boxes, available at both the Civic Centre and Recycling Centre and invites residents to dispose of their used masks.
These masks are quarantined for at least two months before processing and manual sorting. Metal from the nose clips is removed and plastic is melted down into low-grade plastic pellets, which are then used in the manufacture of a variety of new products including outdoor furniture, park benches and decking.