Environmental Services asks residents to reduce holiday waste

provided by Department of Environmental Services

his coming holiday season, the average California household will generate between three and 10 extra bags of trash. All the holiday wrapping, gift boxes and packaging, party goods and seasonal leftovers will add an estimated 100 million bags of garbage to California's landfills enough to fill Qualcomm Stadium 300 times.

With a little planning and some extra attention to detail Californians can minimize waste this Christmas and save natural resources, energy and landfill space.

"We are under a state mandate to reduce solid waste by 50 percent by the year 2000," said Richard L. Hays, Environmental Services Department Director. "The holidays represent a perfect opportunity for each of us to contribute to that goal."

Here are some tips to follow to help us meet the challenge:

  • Make gifts. Everyone appreciates homemade gifts, especially baked goods.
  • Consider nonmaterial gifts like tickets to a sporting event, movie, or concert, or services like massage.
  • Design your own wrapping paper using shopping bags: decorate them with paints, crayons or art projects from school. Use blueprint paper or the Sunday comics.
  • Make gift tags from used holiday cards.
  • Set a box aside to collect the reusable package decorations.
  • Drop off extra packaging materials at local private mailing centers such as Mail Boxes, Etc. Call the Plastic Loosefill Council Peanuts Hotline at 800-828-2214 for the names of local businesses that reuse them.
  • Most gift boxes can be flattened and reused throughout the year for other items. Recycle boxes that can't be reused. Residents with curbside recycling can place cardboard in their recycling container if the cardboard is cut up into 1 foot pieces.
  • Consider using gift bags instead of boxes. They have an indefinite life span and they're easy to store.
  For more information contact the Recycling Hotline at (619) 467-0903.


And don't forget the Christmas Tree Recycling Program

Bring your Christmas tree to one of 30 drop-off locations throughout the City from December 26 through January 18, 1999. Please no ornaments, tree stands, trash, or trees decorated with fake snow.

Free Christmas tree mulch is available after Christmas from the Miramar Landfill's Greenery.

For information and the drop-off location nearest you, call the Recycling Hotline at (619) 467-0903.