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Excrement Clean Up

More information on how to protect yourself including cleaning and disinfecting, proper disposal, and more resources.

Many bacteria, viruses, and parasites are found in feces. Most of these are common and found naturally in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Illness can occur when microscopic amounts of feces are ingested via the mouth or when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands. As such, basic hygiene, such as hand washing, and following the steps below are important when cleaning up feces to reduce the risk of illness.

Download the excrement clean up trifold.

Protect Yourself

It is important to protect yourself during the cleaning process. Gloves are one of the best ways to prevent germs from spreading and should always be worn during the clean-up process. Make sure that the gloves are water proof and not made of cloth or other fabric. If you are cleaning up sewage or clean-up procedures have the potential to aerosolize the feces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing the following personal protective equipment (PPE) in addition to water proof gloves:

  • Goggles to protect eyes from the splashing of material
  • Protective face mask to protect the nose and mouth from any splashing of materials
  • Liquid-repellent coveralls to protect any clothing; and
  • Rubber boots

When cleaning up feces always make sure to do the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after removing gloves and other protective equipment and especially before eating or drinking
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or any open sores or cuts
  • Keep any cuts, scrapes, or open wounds covered
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew tobacco or gum while cleaning

Cleaning and disinfecting

Step 1: Using gloves, pick up any solids and place them into a disposable bag. Removing any solids first will help the disinfectant to work better.


Step 2: For hard surfaces, disinfect the area with either a bleach solution or another U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant. Make sure to follow all directions on the bottle as each disinfectant will have their own instructions. Don’t use bleach on grass. Bleach solution should be at a concentration of 200 ppm (2 tsp bleach to 1-gallon of water) for food contact surfaces and 1000 ppm (1/3 cup bleach to 1-gallon of water) for all non-food contact surfaces.


Step 3: Disinfect your PPE. Rubber boots, coveralls, goggles, and face masks worn during clean-up should also be cleaned with the bleach solution, if they are not disposable. Gloves should be disposed of in the garbage.


Step 4: Wash your hands, for at least 20 second using soap and water.


The City of Albuquerque will address any feces on City property, right of ways, and parks. Please contact 311 to report concerns on these properties so they can be routed to the correct department. If feces are on private property, it is the owner’s obligation to clean these areas.


If you are cleaning feces on a sidewalk, building, or roadway, it is important that you do not use water to spray the feces into the storm drains, as these run directly to the Rio Grande.

Disposal

Feces can be disposed of in a toilet, porta-potty, or in a sealed bag in the trash. Contaminated gloves and other disposable protective equipment that cannot be cleaned should be thrown away.