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Holiday waste stream signals economic growth

United States – A spike in America’s waste volumes as a result of the recent holiday season is a ‘lagging indicator’ of an improved economy, according to Joseph Fusco, vice president at waste management specialist Casella. ‘We’re the end of a stream. It’s a window on human activity – all of it ends up on the kerb.’

Typically, a recession brings a drop in waste volumes whereas improved economic prospects lead to increased confidence, consumer spending and therefore waste. And holiday periods such as Christmas or national sports events like the Super Bowl have a reputation for generating a peak in waste volumes.

This was the case in 2013, Fusco observes, for materials such as wrapping paper, cards, corrugated cardboard and boxes with foam or air-filled cushioning. ‘Christmas is an economic force of its own – it has an impact,’ he says.

In fact, the surge in packaging materials coming in for recycling lasted throughout the first week of the New Year. Rob Allgaier, president and ceo of Pinard Waste Systems, agrees that waste volumes usually increase ‘phenomenally’ in the week after Christmas and that the recent holiday season offered no exception to this rule.

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Source: New Hampshire Union Leader

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