Holiday clean-up option may look different late 2017

This photo shows the cardboard that hasn't been broken down to be put in the Hawthorn Park recycling dumpster. (WTHI Photo, Lacey Clifton)
This photo shows the cardboard that hasn't been broken down to be put in the Hawthorn Park recycling dumpster. (WTHI Photo, Lacey Clifton)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Part of a public service in Terre Haute could be going away.

It’s the Holiday Recycling Program put on by the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department.

Vigo County Park Naturalist Amber Slaughterbeck says, “If there’s so much public outcry to continue the recycling and have this dumpster out here, then I’m willing to work with our general public to make a way to make this work. But as we’re standing right now is, I’m just going to collect trees in 2017.”

January First, the Parks Department took to social media to share the trash that was piled in front of the recycling dumpster.

Slaughterbeck is the one putting in the hours to break down material and pick out the trash.

A frustrating job, made even more frustrating because the parks department made their instructions clear.

The naturalist says, “Everything is supposed to be rinsed. It’s all supposed to be bagged and it’s supposed to be recyclable, and so we’re having that problem of that being mixed in with what the recycling is in the dumpster.”

She adds, “For the last three years we’ve had the same problem happen and that is we’re getting things that are not recyclable. We’re getting Styrofoam. We’re having bags of clothing dropped off in the dumpster, and also just regular old trash bags dropped off.”

Slaughterbeck says one common mistake people make is not making sure the door to the dumpster is closed.

If the door is left open, recyclables inside the dumpster are free to blow all over the park.

The naturalist says it’s clear there’s a need for the service.

So much so, the department has extended the event an extra week this year.

Many are using the dumpster correctly, but the few who aren’t, may ruin the option for everyone.

Slaughterbeck says, “Given that it’s a free service, we hope that our general public will respect that we’ve provided this service and not give us stuff that we don’t want.”

The tree collecting will continue next year even if the dumpster goes away.

This year’s collection runs until January 16th.

Again this is a free service that lets you repurpose your Christmas tree into fish habitat and mulch for your county parks.

A reminder to remove all decorations prior to drop-off.

You can bring paper, plastic, glass, cardboard, steel, and aluminum in one bag to be recycled.

Slaughterbeck says make sure to rinse off these recyclables!

Also, make sure all cardboard boxes are broken down so that more of them can be put into the dumpster to be recycled.

If you have ideas to make the recycling a cleaner, and streamlined process, Slaughterbeck says you can submit your ideas by calling the Vigo County Parks Department at (812) 462-3392.