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Community group cleaning up growing litter of masks, gloves at essential businesses

The Be The Solution Lucas County community group is trying to clean up increasing litter of masks, gloves and disinfecting wipes at businesses.

OREGON, Ohio — It's all about slowing the spread and flattening the curve. Many of us are wearing masks or gloves when shopping.

But some of those items are ending up on the ground instead of in the garbage.

Be the Solution Lucas County is a local community group trying to combat a growing litter of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment.

"We encourage and motivate people to think twice before they throw their gloves on the ground," group founder Steve Salander said.

With the CDC recommending face masks and pushing prevention like wearing gloves, you're seeing them more on a daily basis. But that's also turned into a problem in some public places where people are just throwing them on the ground.

"We've probably got about four or five garbage bags full within the last week," Salander said, "week and a half roughly we've been doing this."

He said he was fed up with seeing posts on social media about gloves and trash thrown everywhere around essential businesses and was concerned about the health risks.

"You know they're upset about the gloves laying around and we decided that rather than simply sharing those posts," he added, "we thought we would do something about it and be the solution and that's kind of where we got our name."

Salander posts places to clean up in Oregon, Maumee and Point Place on the Be the Solution Lucas County Facebook page.

Picked up gloves and wipes in the following places today -Kroger on Alexis -Target on Alexis -Meijer on Alexis -Kroger in Point Place -Dollar Tree in Point Place Top cleanest places were Meijer on...

"We've gotten some comments from some of the cart people that are picking up the carts, they're appreciative of it," he added, "some of the customers thanking us."

Masks, gloves and wipes are a part of our daily lives now. But Salander said we can still be responsible while being safe.

"I just hope that people again kind of think twice. You know be safe," Salander said. "Wear the necessary PPE to protect yourself, but I figured if you can carry it in, you can carry it out."

And Salander believes this is an opportunity for the community to extend the better personal cleaning practices being pushed during this time to outside where we live and work.

"You know, appreciate those things that matter, appreciate nature, appreciate each other," Salander said, "definitely I think in the parks and that too, be a little bit more mindful to keep those spaces clean and work together to do just that."

He's looking for more volunteers to help out. Reach out to the Be the Solution Lucas County Facebook page if you're interested.

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