SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Besides having more holiday spirit this time of year, we also have more trash.

Officials with Spartanburg County said they always see an increase between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

“We estimate an average of 25% more waste,” said Jes Sdao.

With every gift you wrap and give, comes more waste that goes into recycling centers and landfills.

“There’s more trash, because this is of course, that time of year,” said Sdao. “It’s the most wasteful season of the year, it is a season of consumption.”

Jes Sdao, Recycling Coordinator for Spartanburg County, said there are ways you can help.

“More plain wrapping paper, plain boxes, those things can be recycled,” she said. “Tissue paper can be recycled, gift bags that aren’t really embellished can be recycled.”

Artificial trees can create less waste.

“The thing about artificial trees, right, they work the next year. So, that’s environmentally friendly,” said resident, Juan Ornelas.

Once they’ve outlived their usefulness, Sdao said you can recycle artificial trees if they have a metal pole and branches.

Real trees can be recycled into mulch, but they need to be free of all ornaments, ribbons and tinsel.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of waste that comes with the holidays. Although, I try to be a good steward of that. I can say, and I could speak for many Spartanburg people, that there’s just a lot of waste that happens,” said Ornelas.

Sdao said there are other ways you can cut down on the amount of holiday trash you produce:

  • Giving experience gifts.
  • Using recyclable wrapping paper and reusable boxes/bags.
  • Recycle your Christmas trees and holiday lights.
  • Switching to LED lights.

Don’t forget, Sdao said people cannot leave their waste outside of the gates when centers are closed.

“You can be prosecuted,” said Sdao. “It shows up more than we care to see.”

The Recycling Centers in Spartanburg County will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. They will resume normal hours on the Mondays after each holiday.

Sdao also said they see more traffic at their recycling centers this time of year, so they ask people to be patient with staff and each other.