If the main message being put out these days is "stay home" the second might be "pick up your used gloves and masks."

North Brunswick and East Brunswick police issued separate reminders this week for people wearing the protective items while food shopping to not just drop them on the ground when they're done.

"Not only is this littering, but it is also reprehensible," North Brunswick police wrote. "This situation is unprecedented, and stressful for everyone, but we shouldn’t allow a virus to change the fact that we are a civilized society.

Edison mayor Thomas Lankey in a release said someone's got to pick up the the used gloves, masks and tissues.

"I am simply asking for everyone’s cooperation in being mindful of not only the inconvenience but, also, any potential contamination issues possibly associated with having to clean discarded latex gloves, protective face masks and tissues from these businesses’ parking lots," Lankey said.

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East Brunswick police took it one step further, and said their officers would issue summonses to anyone they find discarding them improperly.

One place not to dispose them, along with so called "disposable" wipes, is the toilet.

Clogged pipe in Mount Laurel
Clogged pipe in Mount Laurel (Mount Laurel Township Municipal Utilities Authority)

"Just because something can physically be flushed down the toilet, does not mean that it should be," the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority said in a statement.

"Solids, like wipes and paper towels, can create blockages that back sewage up into the streets, your house, or other streets and homes in the county as it travels to the treatment plant. Items with harmful chemicals may disrupt the treatment process or pass through to the Delaware River," the authority said in a statement.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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