Sanitation News

Cart & Bin Winter 2009

holiday giftsIn this Edition
Season’s Greetings from the Sanitation Division
A Message from the Recycling Administrator
Holiday collection changes
Have a holly, jolly, green Christmas
Feast Green!
Leaf collection under way
Refuse facts 

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Season's greetings from the Sanitation Division

from Johnnie Taylor, Sanitation Director
Imagine yourself sitting at home one weekday morning, perhaps while you are taking a few days off around Christmas. The coffee is poured, breakfast is ready and the morning paper is waiting. Then you hear a familiar sound – the city garbage collectors are making their weekly visit to take away your garbage.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Actually, it is quite the opposite. Four days a week within the 132 square miles of Winston-Salem, the city’s garbage collectors travel hundreds of miles on foot. They deal with animals, bees, adverse weather, odors and people. They serve more than 73,000 households. Every week they pick up 2 million pounds of garbage and take it to the landfill.

The men and women of the Sanitation Division take pride in delivering the best service possible. Yes, we do make mistakes. But when we do, we work to correct them. This holiday season, should you see your garbage collectors, take a moment to wish them well and let them know you appreciate their service!

from Teresa Williams, Recycling Program Administrator
Season’s Greenings! We wish you a wonderful holiday season and prosperity in the coming New Year.

This year we have experienced a slowing economy and financial crisis. Record-high gas prices over the summer really got our attention. Many of us are cutting back because of the economy. However, we cannot afford to cut back on recycling because it’s good for the environment and the economy. During the last fiscal year, the materials recycled in Winston-Salem saved 19,551 barrels of oil, 104,000 trees, and enough energy to power 38,000 houses.

Thank you for supporting recycling. But, although we are doing a good job, there is room for improvement. We need to capture more of the recyclable materials that end up in the landfills, and we need more people to participate in the city’s recycling programs. Please tell your family, friends, and coworkers to recycle. With your help, we look forward to more success in 2009.

Holiday collection changes

City offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 25 -26, Thursday, Jan. 1, and Monday, Jan. 19, in observance of Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Sanitation collections will be affected.


  • Garbage: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday collections moved up one day; Friday collection on Monday, Dec. 29.
  • Recycling: Thursday and Friday collections postponed one day: Thursday on Friday, and Friday on Saturday.
  • Yard carts: Monday and Tuesday collected on Monday, Dec. 22; Wednesday collection on Tuesday; Thursday collection on Wednesday.

New Year’s Day:

  • Garbage: Thursday collection on Friday, Jan. 2; Friday collection on Monday, Jan. 5
  • Recycling: Thursday and Friday collections postponed one day: Thursday on Friday, and Friday on Saturday.
  • Yard carts: Thursday collected on Friday, Jan. 2

Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

  • Garbage: Normal Schedule
  • Recycling: Normal Schedule
  • Yard carts: All collections postponed one day: Monday on Tuesday, Tuesday on Wednesday, etc.

The Sanitation web site has a yearly holiday schedule

Have a holly, jolly, green Christmas

The holiday season is a jolly time. We eat, drink, be merry, enjoy our families and friends, exchange gifts – and generate lots of waste! Americans throw out an extra million tons of trash each week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s alone. A significant portion of waste comes from packaging. This year, please do your part to reduce packaging waste in the first place. Then, recycle those paperboard gift boxes, cardboard (i.e., shipping boxes), and even those holiday greeting cards.

Make it a Green Christmas

Here are some more ways to make it a green Christmas:

Think durable! Consider how long an item will last before you buy it.

Always look for items made with recycled content.

For those friends and family members “who have everything,” make a charitable donation in their name.

Wrap gifts in recycled or reused gift bags, wrapping paper or comic papers. Remember to save used gift bags, wrapping paper and bows.

Send greeting cards made with recycled content to reduce the amount of virgin paper used during the holidays.

Send electronic greeting cards to reduce paper waste.

As you make room for new holiday treasures, consider donating unwanted toys, electronics, and clothing to charity instead of throwing them away.

Don’t forget to be green after the last present has been opened.


Please recycle:

  • Christmas cards
  • Plain gift boxes
  • Corrugated cardboard (flatten to no larger than 3 x 3 feet and set out beside bin)

But don’t recycle:

  • Wrapping or tissue paper, bows, or ribbons
  • Styrofoam, packaging peanuts, or other packing materials

For a complete list of recyclable materials, visit Recycle Today.


Feast Green, too

To make your Christmas feast as eco-friendly, too, remember the three Rs of conservation: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce the amount of waste you produce:

Buy only as much as you need and chose products that come in packaging that can be recycled.

Make your Christmas dinner special by using china, glassware and flatware instead of disposable plates, cups and utensils.

Reuse what you can:

Carry reusable bags when you do your shopping. Take them into the store with you.

Use cloth napkins that can be washed and used again.

When inviting guests to your house for Christmas dinner, ask them to bring reusable containers to take home left-overs.

Recycle all plastic bottles, glass and aluminum containers.

If you don’t already have a compost bin, use your Christmas fruit and vegetable trimmings to start one. The compost will enrich the soil in your garden next spring.

If you use a turkey fryer, NEVER dispose of the oil down the sink or a storm drain. (Cooking oils, fats, and grease eventually block pipes, cause sewer overflows, and cooking oils in water prevent aquatic life from getting oxygen.) Recycle your leftover cooking oil at 3RC Envirostation at 1401 South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

More about household grease

table full of good foods 

Leaf collection under way

Leaf season is well underway. This year the city is making three collections in every neighborhood. The first collection ended Nov. 19. The second began Nov. 20 and will be completed by Dec. 24. Any leaves you have at the curb by Dec. 29 will be picked up by Jan 16.

Inclement weather may force a change in the leaf collection schedule. To assist citizens in tracking leaf collection, the division has created a web page with a map showing the progress of leaf-collection crews for each collection period.

The leaf routes collection progress map is updated often

Leaf Collection Guidelines:

  • Rake leaves to the edge of your yard, behind the curb, and NOT IN THE STREET.
  • LEAVES ONLY. Sticks, rocks and other debris may damage equipment.
  • Do not park vehicles on, in front of, or near your leaves.
  • Do not put your leaves on a tarp.
  • You may not burn leaves inside the city limits.
  • Leaf collection is provided to single family houses only.

Refuse facts

  • More than 40,000 households are participating in the city’s voluntary curbside collection program.
  • The Sanitation Division began using automated garbage trucks in 2007.
  • Automated trucks are now used on 21 percent of the city’s garbage routes.

Sanitation pages:  

Recycle Today pages:  

Go to the city web site:

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