The Windsor-Essex Solid Waste Authority will see a 25-per-cent increase in recyclable material this week as residents rid their homes of packaging and boxes for Christmas gifts.
"We get a lot higher volume of wrapping paper and cardboard," said Tim Tidridge, of the environmental division at public works. "It only happens a few times a year."
Styrofoam - Garbage
Wrapping Paper – Red
Paper Gift Bags – Red
Plastic Gift Bag – Garbage
Plastic Packaging - Blue
Bows – Garbage
Ribbons – Garbage
Fake Trees – Public drop-off; Goodwill
Tidridge wants to remind people they must sort their material and separate the paper from plastic. That includes tearing tearing apart packaging that is half cardboard and half plastic.
"If the plastic is mixed in with the paper, it contaminates the load," Tidridge said.
That means less money for the Windsor-Essex Solid Waste Authority, which sells the recyclables.
The less people sort, also means more garbage is created.
"People put mixed material in a plastic bag. The problem [is] we have two separate plants. So now when it's a plastic bag it's contaminated. It can't be ripped open or sorted," Tidridge said. "So, contaminated bags it get dumped in the trash.
"A lot of times people put things in green garbage bags and they may have all the same material in there but the collectors can’t tell."
The City of Windsor also runs a Christmas tree recycling program. It begins Jan. 7.
Trees must be stripped of all lights and decorations. No fake trees are accepted.
Tidridge said fake trees can be disposed of at the public drop-off or Goodwill.