While most people have at least some idea of what they’d like this Christmas, Mount Airy sanitation officials know for sure what they don’t want: gift-wrapping materials in city recycling carts.
“We do not want that, and please try to put them into the regular garbage,” was the word Friday from Sanitation Supervisor Delmas Overby.
With Christmas just around the corner, Overby is trying to inform citizens regarding the deluge of refuse the holiday will generate and its implications for the city’s curbside-recycling program. Launched last winter, the program will be experiencing its first Christmas and officials want to avoid issues with certain materials that are under the tree one minute and discarded the next.
The drawback with gift wrap — from a recycling standpoint — is that it is made of cheaper grades of paper that can cause problems at the processing center of Sonoco Recycling Inc. where items collected in Mount Airy are taken. Materials such as plastic containers, aluminum and steel cans, glass bottles and acceptable types of paper are picked up under a single-stream, or all-inclusive, procedure and taken to the Winston-Salem center for sorting.
Some of the Christmas paper is made of foil and is wax-coated, which is not desirable because it can tear apart and pose difficulties. “It’s a poor grade of fiber,” Overby explained.
Ribbons used to wrap presents also should be kept out of recycling bins.
“The people that process it…don’t want any of that,” Overby said of the wrapping paper and ribbons. “It gets caught up in the processing equipment.”
Cardboard, Plastics OK
The sanitation supervisor did emphasize that other types of packaging associated with Christmas are acceptable, including cardboard boxes and cartons as well as “cereal-type” boxes. The plastic packaging that some products come in also can be recycled, such as cellophane and blister-pack material.
“That’s a good grade of plastic, so they like that,” Overby said of personnel at the processing center.
Normally, the city accepts plastic containers, numbers 1-7, and paper materials including newsprint, inserts, junk mail, office paper, magazines, shredded paper placed in clear bags, telephone books and paperback books, in addition to flattened corrugated cardboard and cereal and cracker boxes.
New Schedules Going Out
Overby also mentioned Friday that Mount Airy sanitation personnel will be giving, rather than taking, something when making their rounds in the coming days.
“Starting Tuesday we will be delivering the 2013 collection schedule magnets,” he said. “We will deliver those during normal pickups and they will be taped or tied to either the trash cart or recycling cart.”
The recycling schedules for next year, along with a magnet, will be included in a bag left at each stop for mounting on the refrigerator to know when recyclables will be collected. That information is helpful since items are picked up along designated “Blue” and “Gold” routes on an every-other-week basis, which someone can lose track of during the course of the year.
Overby advises taking the scheduling package inside as soon as possible, since damp conditions outside can harm the magnets.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.