MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – It was a cold day at this year’s post-holiday recycling events in Madison County, but this year was a little bit different than years past.
Even at the second annual Operation Christmas Clean Up recycling event at Joe Davis Stadium, COVID-19 is on the mind.
“We ask you to stay in your car and let us take the stuff out. Keep your mask on as you’re interacting,” Solid Waste Disposal Authority Executive Director Doc Holladay said.
Huntsville and Madison each had a drop-off location to safely dispose of recyclables leftover from Christmas. Many had items stretching back months.
“People are more depending on electronics now than ever. There is a lot more ordering online, rather than going in-store, so a lot more cardboard than usual,” Holladay said.
Holladay added this year they emphasized returns of lithium batteries and old electronics in an effort to prevent potentially hazardous situations.
“Normally, if you read about or hear about a fire at a recycling facility, normally, [they’re] those batteries.”
He said hosting this event right after Christmas not only allows for maximum cardboard drop offs, but one other staple as well.
“All the live Christmas trees. It’s a shame to throw them away and have them go to the landfill or something,” he said.
The trees were being ground up on-site into mulch for the city to use in the months to come.
“Last year we took in between the 2 collection sites, about 60 pallets of electronics, about 12.5 tons of cardboard and about 500-600 Christmas trees,” Holladay said.
That turn out alone made Holladay and his team want to continue these events for years to come.