Slay The Holiday Trash Monster!

January 17, 2023
Featured image for “Slay The Holiday Trash Monster!”

In case you missed it, our December newsletter tackled the hard hitting subject of how to deal with the Holiday Trash Monster. Hopefully, you followed the sage advice contained therein and have already dispatched the beast. But if it is still besieging you and your loved ones, fear not! Below are the tips that can set you free plus a bonus tip regarding hazardous waste! Read on…

1. Keep it clean: In order for recycling facilities to operate optimally, the materials being processed must be free of contaminants. These systems are designed to handle the occasional stray bit of foreign matter. For instance, when an envelope with a plastic address window goes through a paper recycling mill, the paper pulp is processed and the plastic is separated. But the systems can only handle so much of the impurities. Things such as bubble wrap, cellophane, string/rope, ribbons and bows, bedazzled cards, cards made of photo paper, batteries, clothing, Styrofoam (and other forms of polystyrene foam), as well as food waste and liquids should not end up in your recycle bin. After you enjoy your hot coffee beverage, make sure that the paper cup, plastic lid and paper sleeve are Empty, Clean and Dry before tossing them into the recycling bin.
2. Keep it safe: Things like Christmas lights, garland, ribbons and bows are often referred to as “tanglers” because they get tangled up in the spinning disks of sorting machines. When this happens, workers must shut down the system and manually detangle the clogged equipment, which halts recycling for anywhere from five minutes to over an hour. Because this nuisance can take up a lot of time, like 5 to 10 times per day, workers who visually spot contaminants in the flow often try reaching in to intercept the material before it causes a jam. This is very dangerous and puts them at risk.
3. Break it down: So, you’re doing your part by recycling your mountain of Amazon Prime shipping boxes. That’s great! Did you know that by recycling just one ton of cardboard, you’re saving the lives of as many as 17 trees? That’s good for the environment. What’s not good for the environment are the carbon emissions from waste disposal trucks, or even your own vehicle, making multiple trips because boxes that are not broken down require more space in the vehicles, often not all fitting in one load. Another way to implement this idea is to cut up Christmas trees or other green waste for disposal in your green waste bin. This also helps minimize the overload in trash pickup during this time of year. Remember, you’re not the only one with more trash.
4. Call EarthWise: As mentioned before, this time of year sees a surge in holiday trash. This can lead to backups for your waste disposal services. But you don’t need to be stuck with all of your festive waste while waiting for the scheduled trash pickup. You can call the EarthWise Team to haul away all the leftover vestiges of celebrations most recently past. Whether you have Amazon Prime packing materials, old electronics (or really anything) that have been replaced by newer gifts, holiday decorations, or green waste, we know how to deal with all of these and more. We will haul away your holiday trash monster and deal with it in a safe, environmentally responsible, and legal way.
Bonus Tip: If you’re wondering what to do with those cans of paint, automotive fluids, dead batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, or other common household hazardous waste that you can’t just toss in the trash (and we cannot handle), the County of Orange has free drop-off locations throughout the county. For more information, click on the link HERE.