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The words “stuffed” and “overwhelmed” don’t just apply to holiday feasts and stress during the holidays. For Apartment and HOA communities, trash and recycle bins are often overflowing with the mess of the busy holiday season. The two main factors that lead to the problem of holiday trash are: trash haulers take the day off and extra waste generated by holiday festivities. Holiday trash can overwhelm a community because both of these issues are usually experienced at the same time. While there are no easy solutions, there are a few ways that communities can mitigate their holiday trash problems.
Issue: Trash Hauler Takes the Day Off
Trash haulers observe all major holidays. As a result, trash will not be picked up on the holiday and service for a few days following will be pushed back by one day. For example, if your community’s trash is usually picked up on Tuesday, but Christmas is on a Monday, then your trash hauler will not service your community until Wednesday that week.
These are the major holidays that most trash haulers take off:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
What it means:
Your community will have to deal with one extra day of trash buildup.
Issue: Extra Waste Generated by Holiday Festivities
Many stores offer huge sales during the holidays, which can prompt higher waste volumes due to packaging and disposal of old items. During major holiday sales, residents often replace large items such as:
- TVs and other electronics
- Mattresses and furniture
When residents buy these large items they leave their old items in and around the community’s trash bins. As online shopping continues to rise, communities will find that packing materials such as cardboard boxes will take up more space in trash and recycling bins. Additionally, holiday decorations and parties produce more trash than usual.
What it means:
Extra waste is a problem as communities may run out of space in their trash and recycle bins during the holidays. Insufficient space means trash will overflow and make trash areas messy. Messy trash enclosures can block residents and trash haulers from accessing the bins. If this occurs, residents will often leave trash on the ground and trash haulers may refuse to pick up some dumpsters. Read more about this problem in our recent post What your Trash Hauler Won’t Pick Up.
There is no perfect solution to holiday trash problems, however, these recommendations can help community managers and staff avoid much of the headache:
- Keep residents informed. Notify residents several days before the holiday that trash will be particularly busy at the community because the trash hauler takes the day off. Ask that residents be patient with the mess. This will help mitigate resident complaints.
- Make it a team effort. If your community has an onsite maintenance team, have them break down boxes and keep the trash enclosure entrances clear for residents and trash haulers.
- Plan ahead. If you expect that your community will have particularly terrible trash problems due to the holidays, consider scheduling an additional pickup of trash and recycling bins with your trash hauler in advance of the holiday.