OTTAWA -- Ottawa residents are asked to place any paper facial tissue into a plastic bag before tossing it into the Green Bin during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director of Solid Waste Services Shelley McDonald tells CTV News Ottawa that facial tissue can still go into the organic waste recycling bin despite the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

“As Ottawa’s Green Bin program is accepting plastic bags as a bagging option for organic waste, during COVID-19, used paper facial tissues should be placed in plastic bags and can go into the Green Bin as per regular waste disposal practices,” said McDonald.

Food soiled paper towels, napkins and tissues are accepted in Ottawa’s Green Bins.

The City of Kingston is asking residents to place used tissues and napkins in the garbage, instead of the Green Bin. The city notes the items often become wind-blown when the collector opens the lid or when emptying the bin.

McDonald says the City of Ottawa and its contractors are using precautions that are already in place to protect workers from the hazards of handling municipal waste.

“In addition, we are taking steps to ensure a steady supply of personal protective equipment is available to our front-line staff.”

McDonald also reminds Ottawa residents to continue to practice good hygiene when handling any waste by washing their hands thoroughly and any surfaces that may have come in contact with waste..