The gifts are open and the dinner has been served, but now it’s time to clean up all of that extra garbage you accumulated over Christmas.
Several people lined up at the Vanway Recycling Depot & Transfer Station Wednesday to get rid of excess items like wrapping paper and cardboard boxes. Among the recyclers was Russ Heyland who had a truck filled to the brim. “Over Christmas holidays we recycle heavily so we recycle everything that we can and it’s probably triple the normal amount,” he said.
Heyland had 15 people at his house for Christmas just a few days ago. With lots of trash this year, he managed to sort it all out beforehand in his garage. “It’s outside of the house and in bins and garbage bags that we have and then we take it to the recycling and don’t wait for the recycling truck because it’s too much.”
According to the City Of Prince George, the average household collects about 17 kilograms of garbage per week. Supervisor of Parks, Chris Bjorn says the amount of garbage adds up during the holiday season. “Over the next two or three weeks, as people have accumulated their garbage and what not it increases about 10 to 20 percent over the normal week,” Bjorn said.
However, that doesn’t mean everything has to be thrown away. Executive Director of REAPS, Terri McClymont says some items last a lot longer than you think. “Keep the re-usable bags for next year for gifts, exchange and also for your Christmas paper think about whether it’s metallic or whether it’s shiny because those paper cannot be recycled, only straight paper can be recycled.”
Once all the paper is recycled, bottle depots in the city will also accept your cans and any Styrofoam items. Bjorn says composting is another option. “There are compost bins at the recycle stations as well, the Quin street and the Vanway as well, so they’ll take anything up to three inches in diameter,” he said.
As for recycling your Christmas tree, Bjorn said the Lions Club has you covered this year and will collect trees January 7th and 8th at the CN Centre Parking lot. “Once the trees are collected, our park staff will chip them and then they use those to put it back into the soils.”
So for whatever you’re throwing away this Christmas, there are plenty of options to do so responsibly.