MARCH 27, 2020

In view of the evolution of COVID-19 infection in Portugal, EGF warns the population of five essential waste rules to have with household waste and that needs special attention during a pandemic phase.



To avoid contamination of more people, it is important to correct mistakes that have been occurring with some frequency in the public space, namely the deposition of waste outside the container or the placement of masks and gloves in ecopoints. It is urgent to correct these behaviors, for the protection of workers and the community, as defined in the following Waste Rules.



This alarm stems from the urgent need to improve individual behaviors that influence the service for the collection and treatment of urban waste, ensured every day by companies and municipalities.




  1. Masks, gloves and tissues are not recyclable, they must ALWAYS be disposed in the regular waste containers

    These materials are appearing, in large quantities, in ecopoints, ending up in the sorting lines. In addition to not being recyclable, they can be contaminated.


  2. Contaminated waste is not recyclable, it must ALWAYS be disposed in regular waste containers

    This rule applies to all people infected with COVID-19 or whom are quarantined for the same suspicion. Anyone in these conditions should have their garbage placed in two bags, one inside the other, tightly closed. These bags must not be full or compacted - they just have to be tightly closed and deposited inside the regular waste container.


  3. NEVER leave garbage bags on the floor, put them in the container

    If the container is full, it should be used when it is available or you should make use the nearest container. If the usual collection is made with bags, the instructions of the municipality or parish must be followed.

  4. Do not leave off bulky waste for collection in a pandemic phase
    In a pandemic phase, this service is not a priority, companies and municipalities are making a considerable effort to maintain the essential public service for the population. Even if you are tidying at home, you should wait for the end of this phase and only place these materials (mattresses, sofas and other materials that do not fit in the containers) when the service is available.

  5. Stay at home and maintain hygiene
    Stay at home, keep the bins/trash areas clean, always protect your hands and wash them after these operations for at least 20 seconds. With these attitudes, it is possible to prevent infection and, even, protecting the workers who provide waste collection and treatment service every day.


Every day, workers in the waste collection and treatment sector continue to contribute to the cleaning of our streets, through selective collection, and ensuring the treatment of our waste. The best way to thank them is to share and comply with these rules and to be understanding of the collection adaptations that your municipality and EGF concessionaires may have to make.