Watching your "waste"line: Dothan deals with Holiday garbage increase

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Dothan, AL (WSFA) - With all those holiday parties and family get-together's, you're no doubt wondering how you'll keep your waistline in check.

But, what about the other kind of waste you accumulate over the holidays—garbage!

Thanks to all those extra boxes, bags, and food containers, household waste increases by more than 25 percent from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.  That adds up to an extra one million tons of waste.

Dothan Environmental Services Manager Bernard Ward says the holidays are his department's busiest time of the year.

Ward said, "Kids are out of school, visitors are coming in, and then all the sudden there's Christmas.  Then, we got all these packages to deal with."

Dothan resident Don McCleod agrees.  He said, "I have a 7-year- old and a 5-year-old, and anyone with kids will tell you that naturally, you just have more trash this time of year."

Ward said the that added waste presents his workers with a challenge.

He said, "It's the time of the year that we have most of our overtime.  Our guys are working almost 12 hours a day."

But it's not just extra food and wrapping items, it's all the extra leaves, limbs, and brush that comes with the changing of the season.

Ward said, "Everybody wants their yards to be well-manicured and groomed for their company, so that in itself adds to the increase."

And that increase, means workers won't get much of a holiday.  Friday, they'll be back on the job.

A job they say isn't pretty, but somebody's got to go it.

The Dothan Landfill services more than 25,000 residents in Dothan, Houston County, and the nearby town of Headland.

Officials say, the landfill can only hold 4 to 4 ½ more years of waste, and soon, the city will be researching other options.

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