December 24, 2013 in City

SMaRT encourages recycling wrapping, packaging paper

Amy R. Sisk The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

Workers sort newsprint at the Waste Management’s SMaRT Recycling Center on West Plains on Friday. The plant processes more than 6,000 tons of recyclables a month.
(Full-size photo)

Christmas tree disposal

Families can dispose of their Christmas trees for free on their regularly scheduled garbage pickup day. The city asks that trees be placed on the curb 3 feet away from garbage and recycling bins.

Trees taller than 6 feet should be cut in half before the city chips and composts them. Loose branches can be bundled next to the tree.

For a $5 minimum fee, Spokane County residents can take their undecorated, unflocked trees to the following places for disposal:

• Waste-to-Energy facility, 2900 S. Geiger Blvd.

• Spokane Valley Transfer Station, 3941 N. Sullivan Road

• North Side Transfer Station, 22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road

Another option is to donate to a Scout troop, school or charity that will dispose of trees.

For more information about tree disposal, contact the city’s Solid Waste Management department at (509) 625-7878.

As children and the young at heart tear the wrapping off presents under the Christmas tree, the shreds of paper, bows, bags, boxes and tissue paper must go somewhere.

When appropriate, local recycling officials encourage people to put as much as possible into the big blue bins.

“Anything with paper in the name – like packaging paper or wrapping paper – is good,” said Steven Gimpel, operations specialist for Waste Management’s Spokane Materials and Recycling Technology Center.

The one exception to that rule is tissue paper – the material is such low quality that it is of little use to recyclers, he said.

Gimpel recommends that people throw other common holiday materials in the garbage, including gift bags, twine, ribbon, bows, cellophane wrap, bubble wrap, tinsel, Christmas lights, scrap metal, processed plastic such as the kind used in action figures, fake Christmas trees, Styrofoam and packing peanuts.

The recycling facility has already seen an uptick in items during the holiday season, Gimpel said. He expects to process 10 percent more recyclables this time of year.

Crews will not pick up garbage or recycling on Christmas or New Year’s Day, according to the city. Collection will resume the day following each of the holidays, with Friday pickup taking place on Saturday.

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