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A very busy season for garbage collectors

Johnson City Press • Dec 22, 2017 at 12:00 AM

 There is no holiday from garbage. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is traditionally the busiest time of the year for sanitation workers.

That’s when all the wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, boxes and other packing crates are carted to the curb for residential pickup, or hauled to a county solid waste center for disposal.

Here’s a helpful reminder to Johnson City’s residential sanitation customers whose regular garbage pickup day is Monday: With Christmas falling on Monday this year, your trash will be collected tomorrow. Regular garbage pickup will be conducted on New Year’s Day.

All of the garbage collected in Johnson City and Washington County — aside from the sorted recyclables — eventually will be buried in the Iris Glen Environmental Center. There are, however, steps every homeowner can take to help reduce the amount of garbage going into the landfill.

Most of the boxes and bags gifts came in this year can be used again next year. Even Christmas cards can be reused next year, either as craft projects or as ornaments for the tree. And why throw away those bows? They, too, can be used again next Christmas.

And what about that Christmas tree? Johnson City residents can participate in a tree recycling program coordinated by the city of Johnson City and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. The idea is to place live Christmas trees in area lakes to create “habitat improvement structures” where fish can hide and find food.

Many local residents will no doubt receive a new digital gadget for Christmas. As a result of those gifts, more than a few outdated smartphones, digital cameras and tablets will be placed trash can come garbage pickup day.

Most of this e-waste — which includes rechargeable batteries, computer monitors and video games — is made from such materials as lead, cadmium and mercury. These are not the kind of things that should be going into the landfill. That’s why Johnson City’s Solid Waste Services accepts toxic e-waste items free of charge in hopes that residents won’t simply toss them into the garbage.

Items may be dropped off at the city’s Solid Waste office, 91 New St., between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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