City officials are bracing for an influx of trash and recyclables brought on by the holidays.
This time of year, a time of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and Christmas trees, always brings plenty of work for city solid waste workers, officials said.
“For the holidays this season, my husband and the grandparents just happened to go a little bit overboard at Christmas,” said Meghan Taylor, who dropped off Christmas boxes and bags at the Cobbs Recycling Center on Wednesday.
She recycles “a ton” through curbside pickups every other week and makes monthly trips to the center, Taylor said. This time, it was boxes that previously held Barbie and “PAW Patrol” toys.
Jason Embry, the city solid waste safety, training and outreach coordinator, said the holiday season brings a consistent spike each year.
“Our tonnage will definitely go up on the curb,” Embry said. “And our tonnages will be bigger. I’ve noticed on some of the products we take at Cobbs, our tonnage is down a little bit, but the reason it’s down is because our curbside is up.”
This week is a “green week,” meaning yard waste in green bins will be collected the same day as residents’ trash pickup day. Next week, a “blue week,” blue bins expected to be filled with Amazon boxes, plastic bottles and containers and aluminum and steel cans will be collected on trash days.
Also on the list of recyclables: non-glitter and non-photo greeting cards and envelopes; and clean aluminum to-go containers.
Wrapping and tissue paper, bubble wrap, Styrofoam, packing peanuts, plastic silverware, unwanted ornaments, gift bows and food scraps that come along with holiday cheer should be placed in the trash.
People with proof of Waco residency can take batteries, cooking oil, motor oil and glass bottles to the recycling center at 2021 N. 44th St.
Plastic bags should not be recycled with the city because of their minuscule density, Embry said. Walmart and H-E-B accept plastic bags at their stores, and the nonprofit Caritas also takes donations of plastic bags.
Chipping of the Green, a city-sponsored event, gives residents a chance to have their Christmas trees mulched and bagged free of charge. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 5 at Paul Tyson Field, 1901 Lake Air Drive.
Bruce Huff, a retired trucking company owner who started the Group W Bench Litter Patrol volunteer trash pickup group, said he does not see any more litter around the holidays than the rest of the year. There’s still lots of litter though, he said.
“I still see a lot of the fast-food stuff, Styrofoam cups, single-use water bottles, straws, balloons, same old thing, over and over again,” Huff said.