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Tips offered for holiday trash pick-up

Christmas is a time of happiness and cheer, but also of boxesand paper tubes and gift wrapping.

And that means more work for your friendly neighborhoodsanitation department and Waste Management workers. Officials saidif you’re feeling the Christmas spirit, there are some things youcan do to make the initial post-Christmas pickup a little easierfor the guys and gals out on the road.

“Easiest way to help us is have everything bagged, not loosegarbage,” said Waste Management Site Manager Randy Clark. “Just sowe can snatch it up real quick. Loose garbage takes a littlelonger.”

Clark said during the holidays some people will put their trashout in cardboard boxes that were used for Christmas packages. Ifpossible, though, that needs to be avoided.

“The reason we don’t like anything put in boxes is that we neverknow what the weather’s going to do,” he said. “If there’s anythingheavy in that box and we grab it, the contents will hit theground.”

Instead, Clark suggested flattening the boxes for disposal.

“Break them down and make them flat and put your material inbags,” he said. “None of this is a requirement, but it’s an awfulbig help to us.”

Meanwhile, Brookhaven Sanitation Department Director WillieSmith said Waste Management will be doing their part with the paperand packaging, but the live vegetation such as natural Christmastrees and wreaths and the routine sticks and leaves will fall underthe city’s care.

“Just remove the lights for us, and we’ll get the trees,” hesaid. “Just leave them wherever they leave the vegetativedebris.”

Both officials said their routes could be altered a little inplaces.

The sanitation department will run Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdayof next week and come back Monday, Jan. 4. Conversely, WasteManagement will run their county route on Saturday both the dayafter Christmas and the day after New Year’s, and their city routeswill pick back up on the Tuesdays following the holidays.

Clark said another important thing for customers is that theytry to get their refuse to the street as soon as they can on trashday.

“There’s really no art to it, just get it to the road before 7o’clock,” he said. “I will have to add extra trucks to cover theholidays, if customers don’t have it out by 7, another truck mightbe coming earlier than your usual route.”

Meanwhile, the only other thing Clark said he’s asking of theChristmas trash makers is to mind their Styrofoam peanuts, noodles,shells, beans and other packing pieces.

“Those little plastic noodles are best put in a bag, because ifyou leave them in a box, as soon as you pack it in the truck it’llblow all over the place,” he said. “We hate the noodles.”