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Winter is coming to Southern California, and while that doesn’t mean much for the temperature, it does mean a major increase in the trash volume. This puts pressure on your trash enclosures and trash haulers. It’s also a risk to the appearance of your community. Missed hauls means overflowing trash left to decay in the bins. 

Here are five ways to help keep the trash at bay:

1. Proper Disposal of Food Waste

Between the ham, the lamb and the yams, no one would blame you for throwing out some leftovers. But what might be a one-time thing for one household, could be a community-wide issue if everyone does it. With all that food and food-packaging, it’s important to know what goes where.

When organic waste is left in landfills, they create pockets of methane as they decay. Organic material like leftover food, peels and bones can be composted or left in green waste bins for your hauler.

And remember, the packaging food may come in is not the same as the waste left by food! Most packaging will not be compostable.

By providing appropriate bins for residents, responsible waste disposal is made more possible. It also saves you the cost of hauling fines when trash is not correctly sorted. This leads us into our next tip…

2. Educate Your Residents

We’re not asking you to hold classes. There are plenty of printable resources you can post to your trash enclosures. Want to save on paper? Sharing via an e-flyer with your residents is a convenient way to keep everyone informed. You’ll also find a list of other resources linked at the end of this article, so no extra research is needed!

3. Recycle

We’ve all been there—you take out the decorations that have been sitting in your closet ten months out of the year, finally plug them in, and there’s one light that just won’t turn on. Whether you decide to replace the bulb or simply throw them out, there are plenty of options available to you. Recycling is an important part of protecting our environment.

Some hardware stores will accept old or broken lights and recycle them at no cost, making responsible recycling more convenient. It’s always helpful to look at what is locally available to you and your residents.

A good rule of thumb is to always read the label, as most products tend to have disposal preferences printed in the form of a graphic or in text. For more on recycling, read our article on disposing of packages!

4. Find the Right Tree

We’re not going to judge you for choosing a living versus a fake tree. But we will tell you how to properly care for both options. If a tree is a part of your holiday tradition this season, here’s what you can do:

Fake trees are typically made from plastic, metal, and wiring. According to L.A. Sanitation, these types of trees cannot be recycled. Therefore, it’s best if they go into your trash bins with standard waste. The same goes for other artificial items like fake snow and garlands.

Fresh trees can be disposed of in green waste bins. Of course, multiple trees means the space available for green waste is reduced. To prevent build up or trees being left behind by haulers, consider employing a service that regularly removes trees. Remember to remove all inorganic decorations (i.e., tinsel, ornaments and string lights) before disposing of your tree.

5. Learn Your Trash Hauler’s Holiday Schedule

It’s no secret that the holidays are a special time for people. It also means time off. Be sure to check with your city’s trash hauler for any alterations to their schedules. Keeping your residents in the loop will also help prevent trash building up in your enclosures.


We get that it’s a busy time of year. Preparing for the holiday chaos by reducing excess trash can make your life and your residents’ lives easier and make sure that trash is being handled responsibly.



For more information:

Green Citizen: How to Recycle Christmas Tree Lights this Holiday Season

LA Environment Sanitation: Christmas Tree Recycling

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