Record online shopping leads to overflowing recycling bins

Record online shopping leads to overflowing recycling bins

It was a record year for holiday shopping online. While you’re playing with your new gifts recycling crews are dealing with overflowing bins. Pellitteri Waste Systems, which handles much of Dane County’s recycling needs, is feeling that influx in material.

“I’ve seen some numbers as much as 12 to 14 percent more, and that’s quite a bit,” Tim Bolhuis, an account executive with Pellitteri Waste Systems said.

The U.S. Postal Service estimated it delivered 10 percent more packages in 2017 than last year. Amazon said it shipped more than 5 billion items to prime members alone in 2017. Bolhuis said the real difference became noticeable when the holiday shopping season kicked off.

“It began with the Cyber Monday sales and, if you look at any recycling carts on the streets, you’re going to see a lot of online shoppers,” he said. Adding to an already hectic month is the bitter cold. Busy drivers said there are a few things people can do to help out.

“It would be nice if they bagged their recyclables,” Kevin Friedli, a Pellitteri driver said. “It makes life a little bit easier for us so we don’t have to chase after items that blow away.”

If you want to cut down on waste be sure to reuse things like wrapping paper or gift bags next year.