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Trash schedule adjusted for holidays

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Now that Christmas has come and gone, many people -- including city workers -- are stuck dealing with the holiday aftermath.

Charleston's refuse crews will be moving through town for the next several days, removing the mess left behind from family dinners and gift exchanges.

The trash pickup schedule has been altered by one day to make up for Tuesday's holiday, Refuse Director Rick Adams said. Workers will be collecting from individual areas a day later than their normal schedule.

This will also occur next week because city crews are off on New Year's Day. Trash normally picked up on Friday will instead be collected Saturday both this week and next, Adams said.

It also takes crews a little longer to remove bags from curbs because of the increased amount of garbage.

"The trash loads will be heavier and it could take longer to clean a route," Adams said.  

Refuse crews normally see the largest amount of holiday trash in the Kanawha City and South Hills areas. However, Adams, who was out working a route Wednesday, said he has not seen as many boxes along the curbs as he had in years past.

"It's not as heavy today as I thought it would be," Adams said. "But it's just the first day of trash pickup."  

City refuse crews typically handle about 500 tons of trash per week. That will increase slightly this week and next because of the holidays, Adams said.

"But our tonnage won't go up a lot because most of the trash we pick up from the holidays is paper," he said. "And paper doesn't weigh that much."

Even though it's a slight increase in weight, the number of bags on city curbs is still substantial.

"There's a lot of trash out there," he said.

Another item city crews will be working to dispose of is Christmas trees.

Charleston residents can place their trees along the curb, where Public Works employees will pick them up, Director of Public Works Gary Taylor said.

There is no set schedule for the tree pickup.

City employees will drive through neighborhoods with a chipper truck picking up trees they find along the curbs.

"We'll chip the trees up and add it to our compost," Taylor said.

The compost is then sold in the spring.

Trees can be left on city curbs starting immediately, he said. City crews will see a significant increase in trees left along streets after the first of the year.

"A lot of people won't take their trees down until after New Year's," Taylor said.

City crews stay busy removing trees for the first few weeks of January, he said. However, trees still appear along city streets up until the summer months.

"We see Christmas trees being left on curbs up through June and July," Taylor said. "We'll still pick them up.

"It's just like anything else in the city," he added. "If people put it out on the curb, we'll pick it up."

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will also be collecting old Christmas trees for disposal.

The agency will pick up undecorated live Christmas trees at Capitol Market from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Jan. 5, said Tom Aluise, agency spokesman.

The trees are then taken to lakes in the state where they are used to create habitat for fish, he said.

"The lakes in West Virginia are manmade so when they were created all of the standing timber was removed," Aluise said. "So the Christmas trees are dropped into the lakes to create a place for fish to hide from predators and eat."

Last year, trees were placed in six lakes around the state including Stonewall Jackson in Lewis County and Beach Fork Lake in Wayne.    

Contact writer Paul Fallon at paul.fallon@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817. Follow him at www.twitter.com/PaulBFallon. ;;  


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