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What to do with your holiday trash this season | Top Stories

CHAMPAIGN, ILL. (WAND) – The holiday season is a time of year that spreads joy, cheer and trash.

Waste disposal company, Republic Services told WAND News typically there’s a 25% increase in the amount of waste generated between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This equals up to over one million tons of extra trash per week.

“It really does do harm to the environment around us. And it adds up, that’s the big thing, it adds up,” said Tyrese Thomas, Owner of Waste Management Omega Capital Tech.

Items such as wrapping paper, packaging and even electronics are often not properly disposed of. Rodolfo Lopez, owner of The Mule Junk Removal of Champaign County said he helps to dispose of these items.

“Dispose of all of the paper, cardboard and the other extra things we get during the holidays,” said Lopez.

Thomas focuses on electronic waste, describing how dangerous those devices can be with toxic chemicals.

“Yeah sure, that little cell phone you used to have that you don’t use anymore because you got the brand new one this year. You don’t put it in the right place, and it goes to those junk yards and those chemicals that make up those batteries. The list goes on,” said Thomas.

Republic Services shared that wrapping paper and gift bags with foil or glitter are not recyclable. Neither are bows or ribbons. They also suggested donating used items such as electronics and toys to help minimize waste.

“We receive a lot of tables, mattresses, chairs and a regular trash company probably just disposes it at the landfill. Well, what we do is try to find new homes for those items,” said Lopez.

Before tossing your holiday left-over waste, contact your local recycling agencies to see how you can make a difference. If you’re in the Champaign area, you can find more information about Lopez’s The Mule Junk Removal here. If you’re in the Springfield area, you can contact Thomas’s Waste Management Omega Capitol Tech here.

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