Officials: Less holiday trash collected this year

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

Chances are the day after Christmas you took a heap of trash out to a bin that was either full, almost full or overflowing with garbage.

But area trash crews report collecting less waste after Christmas compared to last year. And they are not expecting much of an increase after the New Year.

After the holidays, crews around the area got an earlier start in order to catch up after having the holiday off.

Crews are working double time to get the trash collected, said Oscar Macias, assistant supervisor at the Clovis Sanitation Department.

“This year it was not as bad as the last,” Macias said.

Last year, on Dec. 26, 2008, there were 26.86 tons of Christmas trash brought in by Clovis city crews. On Jan. 2, 2009, crews brought in another 131.95 tons. But crews only worked a half day each day, said Joel Garcia, Clovis Landfill superintendent.

Portales saw a 12-ton decrease in the amount of trash collected on Dec. 26 compared to a week earlier, said Portales City Manager Tom Howell.

“It seems this year that many people went out of town for the holiday,” said Nicole Wilkening, Community Affairs Coordinator. “That might explain the decrease in trash volume.”

In Tucumcari, trash crews working half a day on Dec. 26 brought in 35 tons of waste, which was 10-to-15 percent less then the same day a year earlier, said Alex Madrid trash Landfill Manager.

“All of the wrapping paper and holiday trash has been dumped,” Madrid said. “The trash volume after the New Year shouldn’t increase by much.”

Logan Landfill Manager Steve Garcia said there was about 25 percent less waste brought in to the landfill after Christmas.

“This year was nothing compared to last year” Garcia said. “It was your usual items, plastic, paper and house hold items.”

Garcia said last year there was one ton of waste that was brought into the landfill during the holiday weekends.

“I do not expect to see an increase in trash after the New Year,” Garcia said.