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Recycling best option for holiday paper, boxes

Laurens County, South Carolina – With the holiday season comes an extraordinary amount of waste, and Laurens County Solid Waste Manager Chris Gurga is encouraging citizens to break down their packing boxes for recycling, especially since the online shopping trends have resulted in even more shipping materials than in previous years.
“The trash during the Christmas holiday increases greatly,” Gurga said. “It’s a dramatic increase but our staff is the same.”
Especially due to the increase in boxes from online shopping, five or six years ago the county Solid Waste staff began a temporary change in some of its landfill practices during the Christmas season.
“We stop taking all furniture from Dec. 15 through Jan. 15 because of the increase in trash,” Gurga said.
A lot of the extra garbage coming in is cardboard and paper, however, both of which have the potential for easy recycling.
“It’s by far the easiest to recycle, and the more cardboard we can recycle the less we have that goes into the landfill,” Gurga said. “Boxes need to be empty and broken down, because if they come in filled with trash, they are a mess for our employees and then they’ll still have to go straight to the landfill.”
Gurga said the easiest place for county residents to recycle their cardboard and paper is at one of the county’s 10 green box collection sites.
The locations are listed on the Laurens County website at
“They are all across the county, from Joanna to Gray Court to Cross Hill, and so unless you have like a truckload of broken down boxes, the green box sites are the best location for recycling your paper and cardboard,” Gurga said. “We have a small crew at the landfill so it helps us if the boxes and paper are taken to the green box sites, which we unload on Wednesdays.”
The county’s green box sites are closed on Wednesday for that reason, Gurga said, but they are open for long hours every other day of the week.
Aside from the county’s holiday schedules, the hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 1:30 to 6 p.m.

This story originally ran on Page 2A in the Wednesday, Dec. 13 issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.

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