Austrian cleaners are anticipating huge amounts of waste after the Christmas holidays and are preparing for a busy period including special work shifts. This year, there was a rare case where garbage collection stopped for three consecutive days from December 24 to 26, the Association of Austrian Waste Management Companies (VOEB) said in a press release on Thursday. Residents have been asked to avoid waste as much as possible during the holidays.
According to VOEB, there is about 20 percent more waste that needs to be collected after the holiday. VOEB President Gabrielle Joly therefore recommends careful handling of food, avoiding packaging and wrapping paper, using reusable bottles and disposing of flat-folded boxes. “This avoids unnecessary waste and full bins, and is good for the environment,” Jolly said. It is also important to dispose of recyclable materials such as paper, glass, metal and plastic separately. This is the only way to optimally recycle recyclable materials and conserve resources.
If you want to wrap your gifts, you can use old newspapers, cloth bags or high-quality tea towels – there are plenty of these available at home. In all cases, the paper must be disposed of properly after Christmas. “Please simply dispose of printed wrapping paper in the red waste paper bin. If it is coated with a shiny, metal or plastic material, for example cellophane, it belongs to residual waste, the same applies to coated tapes.”
Waste collectors and recycling companies generally do not get Christmas leave between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. “We operate at peak activity after the holidays and plan special shifts so that additional waste, from food waste to packaging, is collected and recycled at best,” Jolly said. “Regardless of whether it is leftover waste, paper waste, yellow boxes or organic waste – we are seeing huge increases everywhere around the Christmas holidays.” He also implored Julie to be as sustainable as possible when shopping for groceries before the holidays. “Especially around Christmas, it makes sense to only buy the amount of food you actually need.”
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