Waste officials gearing up for after holidays

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 22, 2008

Local waste pick-up service officials say once Christmasrevelers are through tearing the paper off their presents, they cando their garbage men a holiday favor by being sure to dispose oftheir refuse properly.

“The wrapping paper and all that stuff goes to WasteManagement,” said Streets and Sanitation Director Willie Smith.”What we pick up has to be clean vegetative debris, like leaves andlimbs.”

Smith said all it takes is making sure that boxes, paper andother refuse of the non-plant variety go in bags separate from theroutine branches, leaves and eventually the old Christmastrees.

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“If there’s anything else in the pile it’s contaminated, and wedon’t have the manpower to separate it right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Waste Management officials said, understandably, thisis a busy time for their drivers every year.

“Occasionally we may have to put an extra truck on the routes,but most of the time they can handle it,” said Waste ManagementRoute Supervisor Vince Robinson. “It just depends on what thevolume of the trash is. It goes up a pretty good bit duringChristmas time.”

Meanwhile, Smith said once local residents are ready to get ridof their Christmas trees, they can leave them by the street to bepicked up. They won’t be disposed of like the normal vegetativewaste, though.

Many fishermen put the trees in ponds and lakes because theycreate a natural habitat for native fish.

“We’re going to stack those out there at the landfill for peoplewho have ponds,” Smith said.

Smith said the city sanitation trucks will run Monday, Tuesdayand Wednesday before Christmas, with Thursday and Friday off. Thenthey will run the same schedule the next week due to NewYear’s.

Waste Management will not run any routes on Thursday. Thursday’scounty garbage will be picked up on Saturday and Thursday’s citygarbage will be picked up on the next service day, Monday, Dec. 29,company officials said.