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Holiday trash causes long lines at landfills

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 6:47 PM EST
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The Onslow County solid waste landfill has been seeing extended lines the week following Christmas.

The Environmental Protection Agency says 25% more trash is thrown away between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year, surmounting to about 1 million extra tons of trash each year.

Sanitation experts with the city of Jacksonville say extra sanitation trucks were sent out throughout the week to pick up larger items from roadsides in the effort to keep holiday trash from getting into the roads.

Sanitation truck drivers say the additional trash has caused them to work extended hours.

“It took me like 40 minutes to get on the hill and back to my route. So, it was crazy,” said one worker. “Those are like the five o’clock days. That’s when we really earn our bucks.”

Kerry Terrell, assistant public services director and former sanitation superintendent, says people often dispose of trash improperly.

“Christmas tree lights, all the cords that you put in there, those plastic bags; they don’t go through the system very well,” said Terrell. “In fact, they get tangled up in the system and clog the machine up and that’s expensive to repair.”

Terrell says those repairs can cause thousands of dollars reminds people that sanitation trucks only collect what is in the cans around the city and instruct citizens to take large bulky waste to the landfill.

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