It is no secret that the holiday season requires that people buy boxes, wrapping paper, bows, and other items for wrapping presents and sending gifts to family in other states. These are purchases that are taken for granted, as is the additional waste that is generated from purchasing items online that come in all their own boxes and wrappers. The holiday season is famously about waste and in the US, many people embrace this as one of the supposedly good things about the holiday season.
Many people are not aware of the impact of the holiday shopping season on recycling drop off services. After all, all of your wrapping paper and boxes just go into your trash or recycling cans and vanish when the bins are emptied after the holiday season is over. People are not thinking about what happens to all of this waste when Christmas is over.
If you want to learn more about the impact of holiday shopping on recycling, read on!
How Much Extra Recycling Drop-Off Waste is Created During the Holiday Shopping Season?
In the US, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New year’s see 25% more waste being generated than at any other time of the year. This extra amount of waste adds up to 25 million tons of garbage nationwide. Most of this waste is paper-based but there will also be ribbons, bows, and packing materials that are included in the waste and recycling that is created during the holiday season.
Recycling drop-off locations are made to help handle some of this waste, but the reality is that many people just smash all this extra recycling into their bins without sorting it at all. This has a direct impact on the processing time and processes that must be done to handle the recycling and waste collection process. Many people are so fatigued by the time that the gifts are opened and the Christmas dinner is done that they just throw everything into the recycling and hope for the best.
You might think that your paper wastes are not impacting the sorting process for recycling centers, but this is not actually true in most cases. Wrapping paper and all of the packing materials that are often mixed with it has to be sorted carefully so that it can be recycled properly. Holiday recycling processes are often much more complex than pre-holiday sorting and processing. Not every wrapping paper or every boxing and shipping product can be processed for recycling.
It is not likely that everyone will know which items can be safely recycled or that they will sort out the trash from the recycling in their bins. This is one of the added costs of the holiday season for recycling companies and they sometimes have to hire additional staff to help deal with the added demand and burden of dealing with these kinds of sorting processes.
While recycling processes will inevitably be more complex during the holidays, there are some things that everyone can do to help with the waste and recycling management processes that companies are engaged in at this time.
What Can I Do to Help Decrease the Strain on Recycling Drop-Off Center This Holiday Season?
It is always best to think about ways that you can reuse items or cut back on waste during the holiday season. Shopping locally can help you reduce your dependence on boxes and packing materials related to items being delivered to your door during this season. Ribbon with wire in it should be avoided or reused if you are going to wrap with it. You should also consider sending digital Christmas cards out this year instead of paper ones.
You can often reuse wrapping paper if it is carefully removed from boxes and bags that you have bought for odd-size items can be reused as well. You should also offer up ribbon and other decorations to be used for children’s crafts or donated to places that need the supplies for their own projects. Keeping these kinds of items out of your recycling can greatly improve the sorting process for those working in recycling locations as well as cutting down on waste.
You can also send digital gifts to the family that is not able to see you in person for the holidays. You can send gift cards and other virtual gifts with ease these days and your family and friends will be just as happy with these gifts as they would be with something that has to be sent in a box to their location. Cutting back does not mean skipping your gift exchange. You will simply be managing your waste more effectively.
Even using real dishes and silverware at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner can help immensely with waste that has to be processed and recycling that has to be sorted out. You will find that there is something nice about using real plates and forks and knives for your family dinner anyhow. While washing silverware and plates can add some time after your gathering. You will be doing the planet a big favor by choosing this option over disposable plastic silverware and paper plates.
With GEL Recycling, Holiday Waste Can Easily Be Dropped Off for Recycling
At GEL recycling, we make sure that you have access to drop-off locations to help you to manage your holiday wastes more effectively and make sure that they do not get mixed with trash and other non-recyclable wastes. We take pride in working alongside our community to manage holiday shopping waste and we make it easy for you to dispose of your recycling properly. We appreciate the efforts of everyone who is trying to cut back on holiday wastes each season and we make the process to do so much more straightforward.
Our services are not limited just to paper recycling and we take care of metal recycling as well as yard wastes. We can help you with all of your recycling needs and we make sure that we are always looking to the future to improve your processes and help to support healthy earth for years to come.