According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Americans dispose of 25 percent more trash than normal in the time frame between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. To put that in perspective, that’s an additional 1 million tons of garbage nationally.
The holidays present plenty of obvious opportunities to create more garbage — wrapping paper, food scraps, packaging, etc. – but there are also opportunities to reduce and recycle.
Wrapping paper and boxes are easily recycled in the commingled recycling available to all residents of Kitsap County, and most other packaging (i.e. packing peanuts) can be recycled at specialty locations.
Planning on hosting a holiday party this year? Check out some of the tips I provided in my summer gathering post — this stuff works in the winter, too.
Recently, my wife and I implemented these waste-reduction strategies at our Thanksgiving feast for 16, and hardly any waste was generated. I think we might have been the only ones on our block without an overflowing garbage can on Monday morning. In fact, our 35-gallon cart only had one bag of garbage in it on garbage day — not bad, if you ask me!
There are lots of online resources to help you avoid waste this holiday season. One of them is Kitsap County Solid Waste Division’s website dedicated to “Waste Free Holidays.” It’s packed with tips, recycling locations and links to more holiday waste reduction info. I encourage you to check it out.