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12 Days of Trash – The First 4 Days

12 days of Trash days 1 - 4 (1)
Welcome to the 12 Days of Trash! Instead of partridges in pear trees, lords-a-leaping, and turtle doves, we’ve got Christmas Trees, Christmas Lights, Gift Packaging, and more!

Day 1: An Introduction to Holiday Waste

Why is Holiday Waste such a problem? Here’s some quick facts:

  • There is a 25% increase of household waste between Thanksgiving Day (USA) and New Years Day.
  • There is an increase of food purchases, much of which ends up thrown away – resulting in a 25% increase in food waste.
  • The average American produces 5 pounds of trash per day, or 35 pounds each week. During the holidays, that rises to 6.25 pounds per person per day, or 43.75 pounds each week.
  • That translates to an extra 2.9 BILLION tons of waste in landfills per week – and that’s only in the US

The good news: 80% of holiday waste can be reused, re-purposed, or recycled.

The bad news: it often isn’t.

How do we fix this?

We like to preach the three C’s: to reduce Contamination, make sure you Communicate before you Collect.

In our experience, people want to do the right thing, and they want to recycle properly. However, when they don’t know where to place items, and they can’t easily find the information, they often end up ‘wishcycling’ – which can be dangerous.

Items such as lights, tinsel, and other holiday ‘tanglers’ will wrap around the machinery at the recycling center, creating work stoppages, equipment failure, and potential harm to employees.

There are quite a few holiday items that either shouldn’t be in the recycling bin at all or require a little extra care before being placed in your bin – and when the holiday season comes to a close, quite a few of them will end up where they shouldn’t. 

What’s more: weather delays due to snow, ice or wind; seasonal Interruptions due to public holidays; and special collections for things not usually collected year round all tend to only exacerbate the problem.

12 Days of Trash - The First 4 Days

Click through the images below to see how our amazing customer, The City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan handles the education, communication, and disposal of this week’s items utilizing their Waste Wizard tool:

The city makes it easy for their citizens to find this information by putting it right in their pocket via our mobile app, available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store.

Keep Up With Holiday Waste

Like the original Twelve Days of Christmas song, the effects of improper disposal are cumulative. What does that mean in this context?

It means that our combined efforts can greatly improve these statistics – just like without the proper education, our combined efforts can make these numbers much, much worse.

The next 3 Days of Trash, all on our social feed this week, are as follows:

  • Day 2: Christmas Lights (String Lighting, Outdoor Projection Lights, Patio Lights).
  • Day 3: Christmas Tree Decorations (Tinsel, Bulbs, Angel, Garland).
  • Day 4: Holiday or Christmas Decorations (Wreath, Ornamental Bulbs, Porcelain Houses, Stockings).

To keep up with us live, follow our LinkedIn page or our Facebook page, where you can get all our updates daily.

For more on how to effectively tackle Holiday Waste, check out 20 Ways to Improve Your Recycling Communication.

In summary, you can reduce holiday waste by targeting and communicating holiday waste collection offenders. Recycling can be confusing all year round, but we definitely see new and unusual items during the holidays causing extra confusion and contamination.

Sometimes it’s hard for people to know exactly what is recyclable and what isn’t, and often they make bad choices without meaning to.

To Ho-Ho-Halt holiday waste contamination, help your citizens make better choices with our purpose-built Community tools, designed to curb contamination, streamline communication, and protect the planet.

P.S. Wanting to view all Holiday Waste assets, all in one place, even after the season is over? We’ve got you covered – head on over to our Holiday Waste page to stay in the loop.


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The Holiday Waste Wrap-Up - 2023/24

The Holiday Waste Wrap-Up – 2023/24

The Holiday Waste season is over, but its effects remain. Not only is waste a year-round issue, but the 25% increase of household waste is just coming back again next year.

Take the next step. Speak to one of our specialists to learn more about how you can:

Improve and advance your waste management operations

Take the next step. Speak to one of our specialists to learn more about how you can:

Control costs and optimize fleets

Meet operational and safety demands

Meet and exceed customer expectations

Comply with government regulations