Food waste, cardboard boxes, plastic wrap and paper add up, making December 26, the day after Christmas, the busiest day of the year at the county’s nine convenience sites as citizens rush to clear out the holiday clutter before heading out to redeem gift cards.
Last year, a total of 289 tons or 579,760 pounds of post-holiday waste was deposited at the county’s nine neighborhood convenience sites from December 26 through December 31.
“We will double up on staffing at our busiest locations in order to keep traffic moving,” said Gloria Puffinburger, county solid waste manager. “Everyone’s in a good mood, so that helps.”
Convenience sites will operate on a normal schedule following the Christmas holiday, but will close on New Year’s Day.
Traditionally, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most wasteful time of year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about one million more tons of waste is generated. “Despite this nationwide trend, there are many ways to green up the holidays and curtail the amount of trash headed to the regional landfill,” Puffinburger said. “Recycle your cut tree. A few will be left for recycling at convenience sites as early as December 26.” Trees should be free of decorations, wires and tree stands. Residents in the Greenwood Road area should take their trees directly to the landfill’s citizens’ center where they will be ground into mulch and re-used. The TreeCycle program continues through January 31, but the landfill accepts trees and all forms of yard debris throughout the year.
Most convenience sites offer cardboard recycling. Cardboard must be flattened before recycling.
All forms of paper including kraft paper and wrapping paper are accepted as part of the county’s mixed paper recycling program. Wrapping paper must be free of ribbon and excess tape. Foil paper should be thrown away.
Gently used textiles, including stuffed animals, are accepted for recycling at all locations along with pairs of shoes in any condition. Items must be bagged and dry.
Strands of nonworking holiday lights, extension cords and all types of broken and obsolete electronics will be collected during eCycle on Sat., January 13 at the regional landfill. “Electronics continue to be a popular holiday purchase. Frederick County Recycling would like to encourage residents to recycle the box, plastic shrink wrap and the old television or computer,” Puffinburger said.
Certain fees apply for the management of computer and television screens. All other electronics are accepted free of charge.
“Spending just a few minutes after the Christmas rush to cull out reusable gift bags, ribbon and fancy boxes, composting fruit and vegetable peels, and recycling much of what’s left has a lasting and positive impact on our local community and the environment.”
For more information about reducing holiday waste, Contact Gloria Puffinburger, (540) 665-5643 or visit www.fcrecycles.net.