WEST PLAINS, Mo. — The holiday season often means family gatherings, staff parties, crowded stores and gift exchanges. To the city of West Plains’ sanitation department, however, it means something more – a significantly increased workload.
Department Supervisor Brent Lidgard says garbage increases by 25 percent from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. That garbage has to go somewhere, points out Lidgard, and although his department is capable of handling the extra work, he is asking for the public’s help with some recycling tips for the holiday season.
“We always appreciate our citizens being mindful of the environment and recycling,” said Lidgard, who oversees a 25-person crew responsible for refuse, refuse disposal and recycling. “But when items are misplaced, it creates a lot more work for our employees at the Transfer Station (1810 Goodhard Drive).”
Lidgard wants to share these recycling tips to the public with Christmas rapidly approaching:
- Try to purchase wrapping paper that is made with recycled materials. That way, you can toss the paper in the recycling bin after opening the gifts.
- Put out the recycling bin after parties. That makes it easier for guests to recycle their glass bottles and aluminum cans.
- Holiday lights and tinsel look good on trees but create a mess inside recycling facilities. Lidgard suggests people throw those away in their trash cans.
- Recycle your cardboard. When you’re done unwrapping your gifts, be sure to break down the boxes and put them in the recycling bin.
- Choose experiences over products. When considering gifts for your loved ones, concert tickets, a long weekend out of town, or a donation to a favorite charity reduces waste and makes lasting memories.
- When shopping for Holiday gifts, consider choosing brands that are made with ocean plastic, reused fibers or recycled paper.
- Bring your own shopping bag to the store. Plastic bags are problematic at recycling facilities. Lidgard suggests using a reusable shopping bag when you head to the grocery store or the mall.
- Recycle old gadgets. Consider recycling your old computer or phone this Holiday season during electronic recycling, or find a local charity that is collecting usable electronics for those in need.
- Don’t forget to rinse your recyclables. Before tossing your carton into the bin, make sure to give it a rinse.
- Lidgard’s final tip is to remember that the Holiday trash schedule for Christmas week and New Year’s Week will be slightly different. On both of those weeks, the Monday trash schedule will remain the same, but Tuesday’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday. Recyclables are picked up on the same day as trash.
For questions or additional information about recycling, people are encouraged to contact the West Plains Transfer Station at 417-256-6254.