By Kevin Edwards
BC Staff Writer
With Christmas done, there’s always the question of how to deal with the amounts of paper and packaging left behind, not to mention the fate of the Christmas tree.
Cleveland Public Works offers a recycling option.
Director Ray Bell said the option is available to leave your Christmas tree curbside just like you would any other waste.
“If they’re going to put their trees on the road, they need to take all the electrical lights and stuff off the Christmas tree,” Bell said, who added this includes any tinsel and decorations.
“Sometimes people put them on the road and leave their lights on it and then they end up getting chipped up with it,” said Bell.
Other common Christmas materials can be recycled as well, but there are ways to make the pickup options easier.
“On the boxes and stuff, if there’s anyway possible, break them down before you put them in the (recycling) container,” Bell said. “The only thing we’d be recycling is cardboard and paper.”
There is also the option to drop off your recycling at two locations: 219 North Bayou Rd. which is accessible at any time; and the public works facility at 1098 Old Highway 61 North from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. except on holidays.
Items that cannot be recycled in Cleveland that may be common this holiday season include aluminum foil, glass and bubble wrap.
Stanford University reports that the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day brings in 25 percent more waste per year, amounting to an extra 25 million tons of waste to deal with.
Tips for reducing waste in the future include using recyclable wrapping paper for gifts such as old magazines or newspapers or using a box that is reusable instead of paper.
Stanford reports Americans buy an estimated 2.65 billion Christmas cards, which could fill a football field ten stories high. If you’re looking to save waste on cards, go electronic.
Bell said his department would be prepared to recycle a larger variety of materials on Earth Day in April.
For more information on what can and can’t be recycled, visit the public works website or call 662-843-5365.