- From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25%, with a huge jump—not surprisingly—around Christmas. About 1 million tons a week of packaging, wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons are dumped on landfills in a week, according to the EPA.
- Some trash haulers hit pay dirt this time of year, which San Francisco-based Recology vouches for. Their workers have racked up plenty of overtime hauling trash bins stuffed with paper and other packaging waste to an industrial yard where it’s sifted, sorted and recycled.
- Their trucks dumped more than six tons of trash each day just after Christmas, up nearly 20% from other times of the year. Overall in the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags alone totals 4 million tons.
As Recology workers retrieve the tonnage of boxes, bows and other holiday remnants tossed in with the garbage, plant manager Isaac Singleton said, "We call it silly season."
"Christmas has really moved down here to the recycling center," said Recology spokesman Robert Reed. "People pick out a special wrapping paper; they do a nice job of wrapping the box. When it comes to us, it’s a little further down the line."
But the trash will come back in a new form long before the next Black Friday, ready for re-use.
"We’re going to get it recycled," Reed said, "so we can have Christmas again next year."