The Journal staff

WALHALLA — Oconee County has temporarily stopped accepting plastic, glass, paper products and aluminum cans for recycling, effective Monday.

Oconee County is temporarily suspending its recycling program due to the spread of COVID-19.

 Those items can be placed in household trash, but they will not be separated for recycling, according to Christina Passafaro, Oconee County’s recycling and sustainability coordinator.

The county expects to resume its recycling program “once the threat of the COVID-19 or coronavirus has passed.”

“We are trying to reduce opportunities for our employees to contract the virus,” Passafaro said in a statement. “Citizens are welcome to hold their recycling until we resume normal operations, but that date has not been determined at this time.”

“These items require manual sorting, and viruses may cling to surfaces for an extended period of time, putting staff at risk for exposure to COVID-19 or coronavirus,” according to a news release from the county administrator’s office. “The recycling centers will continue to accept regular household garbage, cardboard, scrap metal and tires, and they will maintain customary hours of operation.”

“While we are saddened to do this, we are doing our best to prevent the spread of the virus,” Passafaro said.