EUGENE, Ore. - New computers and toys mean piles of packing materials and newly obsolete home electronics.
But there's no need to throw away holiday trash like Christmas lights, packing materials or even an old TV set, according to Lorraine Kerwood of Eugene.
"Oh my gosh, there's so much we can reuse," said the founder of NextStep Recycling.
"This material doesn't have to go in the trash can," Kerwood said. "We can recycle it and make sure it doesn't end up in our Short Mountain Landfill."
And that is important, she said, because many of your unwanted old things - especially electronics like batteries, old keyboards and computers - contain heavy metals, lead and other hazardous materials.
"We're all about keeping that landfill on a diet," Kerwood said.
Before anything is recycled, NextStep takes a stab at reusing the item. Refurbished items are sold locally and donated globally.
But what about that ubiquitous styrofoam?
"We don't take it anymore," Kerwood said. Two years ago, the fluffy white stuff overwhelmed NextStep during the holiday season.
But the woodshop at St. Vincent de Paul wants your styrofoam. Terry McDonald, the St. Vincent executive director, said they're smashing the problem one styrofoam block at a time.
"This machine is going through the process of reducing by 50 fold the styrene that is going down the shoot," he explained.
That makes a truckload of difference. A single pallet of crushed blocks would have been enough to fill a 48-foot trailer.