Home » News » Assiniboine Park Zoo Launches Mask Recycling Program

Assiniboine Park Zoo Launches Mask Recycling Program

April 22, 2021 11:19 AM | News

Assiniboine Park Zoo Mask Recycling

Renata Machado, sustainability coordinator, with Assiniboine Park Zoo’s disposable mask recycling bin. (ASSINIBOINE PARK CONSERVANCY / HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — There’s a new initiative at Assiniboine Park Zoo to recycle disposable masks.

Just in time for Earth Day, Assiniboine Park Conservancy has partnered with TerraCycle to ensure discarded masks don’t find themselves in the landfill.

“Over the course of the global COVID-19 pandemic, disposable masks have become a serious environmental concern around the world,” said Renata Machado, sustainability coordinator, Assiniboine Park Conservancy. “As a conservation organization, we want to be part of the solution to this problem.”

A weather-proof collection bin is now located at the zoo exit for visitors to dispose of their masks as they leave the zoo. When the TerraCycle box is full, it will be removed and replaced with an empty box. The full box will be sealed and stored for 72 hours, then transported to a recycling facility where the contents are sorted and broken down into separate materials that are recycled and incorporated into new products.

All non-woven disposable plastic-based masks can be recycled, including three-ply surgical, dust masks, KN95, and N95 masks. Paper and cloth masks cannot be recycled.