Christmas Brings on Record Holiday Trash

More San Diegans are recycling their holiday trash

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    Consumer Bob

    'Tis the season of trash, and no one knows that more than San Diego sanitation driver Thomas Clanton. 

    "I would say [we collect] at least four or five more tons [of trash] considering the holidays," said Clanton.

    Christmas Brings on Record Holiday Trash

    [DGO] Christmas Brings on Record Holiday Trash
    Tis the season of trash and no one knows that more than San Diego sanitation driver Thomas Clanton. NBC 7's Consumer Bob explores the topic of post-holiday recycling and how much of that trash winds up in landfills. (Published Monday, Jan. 21, 2013)

    The end of December and the first part of January is the busiest time of the year for trash collectors and curbside recyclers. Holiday presents are surrounded by elaborate packaging and Christmas parties add to the amount of cans, boxes and bottles.

    Nearly 99 percent of it all can be recycled.

    "All the cardboard and paper packaging, all the margarine tubs, yogurt tubs and all the clam shell packaging," said Ken Prue with San Diego Waste Management.

    But the recycling program manager says people need to know what they can put in the blue curbside bins.

    "There is still a learning curve but I think most people are doing a great job of it," said Prue.

    Still, not everything can be put in recycling bins.

    In San Diego, Styrofoam and plastic bags cannot be included in curbside pickup. Instead, packaging Styrofoam can be taken to certain recycling drop-off centers and supermarkets often recycle plastic bags.

    The city has a website that details what can be recycled.

    As for driver Thomas Clanton, he says people try hard to do what's right.

    "We have stuff falling out of containers and customers coming out trying to refill containers with paper and other boxes," he added.

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