MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - As you wrap up the holidays and get ready for the new year, Keep Midland Beautiful hopes you'll take some things into consideration as you get rid of your holiday trash.
The holidays are a time with family and friends. But after Christmas when all is said and done, comes extra waste.
"Between thanksgiving and new years day, there's an increase in 25% in waste, in municipal solid waste," said Keep Midland Beautiful Executive Director Amanda Byrom.
You'll find recycling bins all over Midland, in an effort to help residents dispose of recycling material, yet there are some mistakes people make when they get rid of that holiday trash.
One mistake is trying to recycle tissue paper that comes in gift bags or trying to recycle your artificial Christmas tree.
"A lot of people think plastic, they think anything," said Byrom. "You get random stuff like children's toys, Venetian blinds or Christmas trees. Yes, they're made of plastic but no it does not go in the recycling bin, they go in the trash."
There's been problems of residents dumping boxes outside of the recycling bins and leaving their mailing labels on the boxes. Leaving boxes outside of the recycling bins is considered illegal dumping.
"People can actually come to your house and issue a ticket, that's also a safety issue. Make sure you remove your personal information," said Byrom.
If you have a real Christmas tree, you can take it to the Citizens Collection Station or Hogan Park in Midland. The Christmas tree drop-offs help you safely dispose of your tree, but you can also get some free mulch out of your holiday decor.
Although Midlanders do a good job and taking their boxes to the recycling bin, they must be compacted down before they're thrown into the bin. Overall, Keep Midland Beautiful said they see more Midlanders recycling during the holidays, but with more help and more knowledge, a little goes a long way.
"The Environmental Protection Agency estimates we can recycle about 75% of our waste but it turns out people are only recycling 30% of their waste," said Byrom. "We can have a 45% improvement if people can think more of what can be recycled."