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Tips and tricks for reducing the strain on the county’s landfill site and for make sustainable choices

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most wasteful.

Every year tons of holiday garbage is generated during the holiday season, mostly ending up in Oxford County’s landfill site.

However there are ways to reduce the mountain of festive garbage hauled to the dump each December.

“Christmas is a great time of the year, but with a little bit of planning you can make it a waste-free event,” explained Pam Antonio, the county’s waste management co-ordinator.

Antonio said small changes can make a big difference in reducing the strain on the Oxford County landfill site that is predicted to have enough space for only 40 to 50 more years.

“We’d like to extend that even longer,” Antonio said.

One way to help do that is to choose non-foil wrapping paper that can be recycled by popping it into your blue box.

But, she said, before recycling it all tape, ribbons and bows must be removed from the wrapping paper.

“If you want to get creative you could use reusable bags or wrap presents up in T-towels as an alternative, to reduce the amount of waste generated,” Antonio said.

Cardboard is also a major concern during the holidays, when much of it won’t be recycled unless it properly prepared for the blue box.

“Cardboard needs to be flattened and plastic film and twist ties removed,” Antonio said. “If cardboard is not prepared properly, it will not be collected.”

Cardboard bundles should be no more than 75 cm by 75 cm by 20 cm.

Antonio also advised against putting out garbage in white bags that are difficult for collectors to spot in the snow.

Antonio said choosing gifts with limited packing is also a way to reduce Christmas’s environment impact.

“It’s all about changing lifestyle to produce less waste,” Antonio said. “It’s good for the environment and long-term sustainability.”

Over the holidays there are several changes to garbage collection schedules that can be found on the county’s waste management calendar or by visiting www.wasteline.ca or on the Wasteline mobile app.

ollection delays and cancellations can also be sent directly to you mobile device by downloading the app.

HRivers@postmedia.com