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How to Cut Back on Holiday Waste

The environmental impact of the holidays is staggering. The Camden County freeholders offer some great, practical tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

The following press release was issued by the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 

Did you know that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent? That adds up to an additional 1 million tons of waste a week in our nation’s landfills. That is why it is important not to forget about the environment as we celebrate with family and friends.

Recycle old electronics
First and foremost, we know that there will be a critical mass of new electronics purchased this year. The Freeholder Board wants to remind you, by state statute, televisions can no longer be disposed of in your curbside trash pickup. The Camden County Pollution Control Financing Authority (PCFA) is collecting electronics for recycling at no charge to county residents.

To make recycling more convenient, Camden County residents can drop off their unwanted electronics at the PCFA in Pennsauken every business day. If you are replacing old electronics with new ones this season, drop off your items to be recycled at 9600 River Road in Pennsauken, during the PCFA’s normal business hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Re-use old paper
Half of the paper America consumes each year is used to wrap and decorate consumer products. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in this country could fill a football field 10 stories high. These cards and wrapping paper can be placed with your paper recycling unless they are wax-coated or made of foil.

Other paper goods accumulated around the house during the holidays can be recycled using the same guidelines. Why not save the larger pieces of wrapping paper to reuse the next time you need to wrap a present? This method of recycling is better on the environment and your wallet.

Compost your tree
Each year, 50 million Christmas trees are purchased in the U.S. Of those, about 30 million wind up in a landfill. To determine the proper way to dispose of your Christmas tree, please contact your municipality.

If you compost, reduce your tree into smaller sections before adding it to the pile. As an alternative, purchase a live tree with a root ball so that it can be planted in your yard and enjoyed for years to come. 

Donate to Charity
While we are all enjoying our new treasures, why not use our good fortune to help those in need by donating your unwanted items to a local charity? Gently-used clothing, blankets and household items will do more good in the possession of someone who can use them than they would be sitting in your curbside trash.
 
For more information on recycling and the environment, please contact the Camden County Division of Environmental Affairs at (856) 858-5241.

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