‘Tis the season to recycle holiday packages

‘Tis the season to recycle holiday packages
KCPQ, Jaireme Barrow, The Blank Box via CNN

One of the busiest shipping weeks of the holiday season is upon us. The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages this week alone. That’s a lot of cardboard, and it comes with a reminder from Madison’s Streets Department to flatten it out before it’s recycled.

As a record-breaking number of people shopped online this holiday season, that means a record number of cardboard boxes are ending up in recycle bins.

But the streets department said those boxes need to be broken down. Flatter, smaller pieces are easier to push through the recycling truck’s hopper and bigger boxes can get stuck. If your bin is too full, leaving cardboard on your curb is fine as long as you break boxes down into 3-foot x 3-foot pieces. Those loose pieces should be bundled together with string or tape so they’re easier for truck operators to hoist up.

“We don’t mind doing our work and doing our job and picking up the extra stuff. It’s just we don’t want to have to clean up, too, because we can avoid that,” street machine operator John Forst said.

Forst said he makes 500-700 stops per day and getting out of the truck to pick up boxes can add up to a lot of time during a shift.

You can also bring your cardboard to Madison’s drop-off sites at 4602 Sycamore Ave. and 1501 W. Badger Road. They’re open from 7:30-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Another good reason to break down your boxes is to hide all of the Christmas presents you received. Leaving those boxes outside your home could be an advertisement to criminals, letting them know what’s inside your home.