Local officials urge community to keep the safety of their home, environment in mind for the holiday

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Christmas is nearing and that means there will be decorations and more household waste to get rid of once all the gifts are open and people are done gathering.

Local officials are reminding community members to keep the safety of both their homes and the environment in mind when disposing of these items.

To help keep waste down, Megan Fox, communications and HR manager for the Waste Commission of Scott County said to consider recycling.

“Over the holidays, we see about a 20% increase in material,” she said. “So we want people to recycle those right things like cardboard, paper bags. Gift wrapping paper can be recycled, as long as it doesn’t have metallic coloring in it or shimmery. We also want to see cardboard boxes, there’s a lot of people getting packages delivered in those cardboard boxes can be recycled.”

The commission operates four waste facilities for people to get rid of unwanted items in the proper way. Facilities operate from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month.

When the community doesn’t recycle, Fox said everyone has to work harder.

“When people fail to recycle the right items, it does increase the workload for our staff, it increases the workload on collection, they’re collecting more material, and it increases our usage of our equipment, and becomes dangerous if it’s a hazardous material that’s coming through the center,” she said. So we ask people to recycle right, keeping it cardboard paper, even your plastics, making sure that you’re not throwing in hazardous material like batteries or any type of chemical that was in a plastic bottle.”

Local officials say while more things get trashed, there’s a higher chance for decorations to catch fire. The American Red Cross said December is peak time for home fires.

Mara Thompson, regional communications manager for the American Red Cross of Illinois, said some decorations require more attention than others.

“The big one is candles, we see a lot of fires from candles this time of year,” she said. “So make sure that if you do have real candles that they’re out of the way have kids and pets and never leave them unattended. But a great option as well is to have fake battery-powered candles that will make sure that it keeps your family safe,” said Thompson.

Thompson said families should also remember to buy a flame-resistant Christmas tree if they aren’t buying a real one. She also said never to plug more than three lights into an extension cord as this could lead to a fire.

“It’s so tough when you’re meeting someone potentially on the worst day of their life, and they’re seeing everything that they have, literally go up in flames,” she said. “It’s, it’s awful. And that’s why you know, as an organization, we’re there. We’re there to help with shelter. We’re there to help with immediate needs after a fire. But of course, another big part of our organization has preparedness and trying to get as many of those fires from happening as possible.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *