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TOWNSEND/ASHBY — Sometimes kids seem to have more fun playing with the box than the toy that came in it.

Perhaps they are just in tune with new trash directive — reduce, reuse, recycle.

According to statistics from the MassDEP, 25 percent more trash is produced during the holiday season than other times of the year. Irene Congdon, chairman of the Recycling Committee in Townsend, wants to minimize the impact of the season’s trash.

Most of the tips are easy to do and some save money, an important thing in these tight times.


You can recycle glass, plastic, metal and all paper items, “anything you can tear right,” at the recycling center. Townsend and Ashby accept almost all other recyclables, some for a small fee.

Congdon said one thing is new this year.

“We do not want Christmas paper in the recycle. Most of them have a little something else” such as plastic coatings. The vendors are more particular this year and will not accept the wrapping paper.

Christmas trees, stripped of decorations and garland, can be used for chipping, beach erosion prevention, shoreline protection and for other environmentally beneficial purposes.

Townsend residents can bring their Christmas trees to the recycling center when it is open or drop them off at the DPW barn between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. The new facility is at 177 Main Street.


What to do with all those packing peanuts, bubble wrap and foam packaging? Area recycling coordinators suggest bringing it to a postal center or an antique store for reuse.

Instead of throwing out or even recycling old cards or decorative boxes, reuse them as creative wrapping, decorations or gift cards.

Reusable tote bags help eliminate paper and plastic bags at the landfill.


Many of these tips will also help you save money.

* Use a timer for holiday lights.

* Use smaller LED Christmas lights. Ten strands of incandescent bulbs burning eight hours a day can cost $127 a month according to the MassDEP. The same number of LED lights cost just 72 cents.

* Send an e-card instead of a traditional paper card. No postage and no waste.

* Give an energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb as a present and save more than $100 in electric costs over the life of the bulb.

* Walk or carpool to holiday parking and shopping.