Empty boxes from the holidays can mean cash in your pocket - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Empty boxes from the holidays can mean cash in your pocket

December 27, 2003

Albany -- Have the holidays left your home a mess? Before you throw away those empty boxes and soda cans, think "Recycle." Recycling centers say the days after Christmas are the busiest time of the year for them.

A mountain of boxes and plastic bottles may look like a pile of garbage to you or me but for workers at Southeastern Aluminum Recycling , it's something far more valuable. "One man's trash is another man's cash,"says company president, H.D Wiley.

Wiley's company sells cardboard and aluminum cans to recycling mills. And with the big demand for recycled goods, the days before and after Christmas are a welcome time of year. "Between the paper products and the non ferrous materials, normally we will see a spike of about one hundreds tons in a month's time. And part of those tons come from people trying to cash in on the trash left behind from holiday gatherings. "Having the family members and the grands over I just accumulate a lot of soda cans," says Eugene Baisden. Baisden visits the recycle center with a few bags of cans about every three months.

For businesses recycling isn't just an environmental solution it's a way to move thousand of tons of trash. It cost retailers millions of dollars to dispose of their holiday trash at landfills. But having their excess transported to centers like Southeastern help them save money and profit from what otherwise would be garbage. "A lot plumbing companies electrical companies will accumulate product all year long and will disturb the proceeds from the products in the form of bonuses," says Wiley. So what's good for a company's bottom line can also be good for the environment. So this year's holiday trash may even make its way back under the tree next year.

 And if you've always wondered how much you can get from saving those empty cans. A bag full is worth about seven dollars depending on the weight.

posted at 5:50PM by scott.hunter@walb.com