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Stanford study: Americans throw out 25% more between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day

Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 16:23:12-05

MILWAUKEE — Plenty of people around Milwaukee are taking out overflowing trash on the day after a holiday.

According to a recent Stanford University study, Americans toss out 25 percent more between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

All the boxes, wrapping paper, and other garbage from the holiday can strain an already busy sanitation system.

"The routes are a little heavier and there might be a little extra stuff outside the cart for garbage crews to pick up," said Rick Meyers, the sanitation services manager for the City of Milwaukee.

Meyers said Milwaukee recycles more than 50 million pounds per year. But sometimes people put things in the recycling that they shouldn't,which can make it more difficult for workers.

You can't recycle holiday lights or anything aluminum, like bows or tinsel. Wrapping paper and cardboard boxes are okay to recycle, but dissemble the box and remove the styrofoam.

Environmental advocates say every bit of recycling effort counts--and it even saves you money.

"Every time we put all that stuff in the litter, all that property that takes the landfill, that costs money," said Joe Wilson, the executive director of Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful.

And don't forget about your Christmas tree: you can take it to a drop off center or put it on your curb for your designated day of pick up.