Plastic wrap from Thanksgiving dishes, wrapping paper for Christmas presents, and tons of confetti from New Year’s Day – you name it, and it can probably be recycled.
The local Keep Troup Beautiful (KTB) has reported statistics that show a nationwide 25% increase in household waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. While everyone frantically plans their holiday getaways, parties, and presents, many fail to realize how much waste they produce.
However, this past Saturday, January 7, at the La-Grange Recycling Center, KTB took the time to fight the freezing weather and collect any recyclables that were leftover from the long holiday season by hosting their event: “Bring One for the Chipper”.
From basic recyclable items to Christmas trees and electronics, KTB took them all.
Executive Director of KTB, Scott W. Landa, praised this year’s turnout, “We had a fairly good day yesterday at the Recycling Center despite the freezing temperatures and some icy road conditions … We had about 25 people/families come by with Christmas trees, electronics, cardboard, glass, cans and tires.”
Landa went on to discuss additional ways KTB was able to use this year’s donations: “We gave away swamp chestnut and red oak seedlings (provided by the Georgia Forestry Commission) as well as flower and vegetable seeds (provided by Keep Georgia Beautiful).”
KTB also held two door prize drawings for those who participated on Saturday.
Even though KTB works hard to keep so much waste out of the local landfills, the responsibility to recycle and take care of the environment falls on the shoulders of each individual that makes up the LaGrange/ Troup County community.
So, what ways can you help?
If you saved any of your holiday ribbon, reuse it. KTB reports that “If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.” Even if you didn’t save your holiday ribbon, make the decision to save ribbon from other year-round events like birthday parties and other festive events that require ribbon decorations.
Decide to cut back on your card list or choose to send e-cards rather than printed cards. Studies show that “The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the US could fill a football field ten stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. Consider sending an electronic e-card.”
Once again, even though Christmas is over and Christmas cards have been sent, make the decision to watch the number of printed cards you send or make the electronic choice when sending birthday cards, “Thank you” cards, and sympathy cards throughout the year.
Monitor electricity usage. KTB says that the “Electricity bill for lighting a tree for 12 hours for 40 days [for] Incandescent lights [is] $25.13 and LEDs [are] $0.56.” Do the math and make smart, financial, environmentally healthy decisions when choosing any sort of light displays or light fixtures year-round.
Though household waste statistics skyrocket during the holiday season, KTB encourages the community to make a day-to-day, conscious decision to reuse and recycle household items, in hopes that the statistics will drop not only from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, but throughout the rest of the year, too.
If you couldn’t make it to KTB’s event this past Saturday, the Recycling Center (“under the water tower”) is open Monday-Friday, from 9 am-3 pm, for you to drop off your recyclables.
For more information on ways to reuse and recycle items, visit KTB’s website at: http://www.keeptroupbeautiful. com/.
Peyton Hanners Staff Writer