By Ted Scouten

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – As fast as workers can pick up gloves and masks that are thrown on the ground in parking lots, more show up.

You’ve probably seen in store parking lots and gas stations all over the place.

“There’s gloves everywhere. It’s like when somebody drops a dirty needle or something” said Maria Garratt as she walked out of a grocery store in Hollywood, a discarded plastic gloves just a few feet away from her.

“It bothers me because they took off their gloves that think may be contaminated and threw it right by my car,” she added.

At Cali Coffee in Hollywood, the owners are constantly checking for discarded gloves, masks and wipes and getting them thrown in the trash quickly.

“Every 30 minutes or so we make sure to go outside, wipe down our tables and just scan the area. If we see gloves sitting there, wipes sitting there, we pick them up just to make sure our environment is clean,” said Cali Coffee co-owner Rose White.

Stores are doing a lot of cleaning inside and out. They’re also spending a lot of money to pick up after others, for fear those dropped protective items could be a health hazard.

“One store, in particular, hired a waste management company to come and disinfect the front of their store because of so many gloves and so many masks discarded on the ground,” said Hollywood police Officer Christian Lata.

Police in Hollywood are on the lookout for violators. They want to warn them against carelessly tossing dirty gloves, making sure they know that could potentially hurt others.

“If you do use gloves, masks, sanitation wipes, please just discard these items in the trash can. Don’t leave them on the ground and don’t leave them in shopping carts because it could spread the virus,” said Lata.

Police say they prefer to give people warnings and educate them about why it is important not to throw masks and gloves on the ground, but if they need to, they will cite violators for littering. That’s a $100 fine.

Ted Scouten

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