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Reduce Waste By Properly Disposing Of And Recycling Holiday Trash

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Reduce Waste By Properly Disposing Of And Recycling Holiday Trash

Leftover boxes and holiday wrapping paper from Christmas presents do not all have to go in the trash.

Putnam County Solid Waste Program Manager Lisa Luck said much of that waste can be recycled. She said each holiday season, the average person’s waste load increases by over one pound.

“The problem comes in when you leave all the plastic wrap or the styrofoam in the cardboard, that causes the solid waste department issues because those are what’s called a containment,” Luck said. “And they have to be pulled out by hand at the Solid Waste Department and there’s just not enough employees to take care of all that.”

Luck said everything from cardboard, to wrapping paper, to packaging materials can all be recycled at the proper facilities. She said cardboard and wrapping can be taken to convenience centers and packing materials can be given back to shipping locations.

Luck said the two main things that cannot be recycled are slick cardboard gift boxes and anything with glitter.

“This is the busiest time of year and it’s the time of year where employees want to take off for Christmas and take off for New Year’s, and so it’s a burden and the employees have to work much harder and quicker to manage the waste and it is hard,” Luck said. “When you think about the fact that although the county provides waste management services, it is up to us to sort our trash and keep as much as we can out of the landfill.”

Luck said another aid to waste management is to pay special attention to foods. She said in the United States, approximately 40 percent of the food that si grown is thrown away before it is every consumed. Luck said if you compost in your yard, that can help keep it from the county’s solid waste and help it decompose naturally.


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