On a rainy morning in late December, Tim Burford knows what to expect when he heads to work. "The first thing I think is it's going to be a long day," Burford tells News7.
He should know. Burford is a 32-year veteran of the Roanoke County Solid Waste Division, and he's seen what the holidays have to offer. "Lots of extra boxes, packing material and stuff like that," he says. "And of course, people have had family over so they've got extra bags of leftover food and all the good stuff."
All the good stuff also means more business for the Roanoke Valley Resource Authority, and the Tinker Creek Transfer Station that sends solid waste to the regional landfill.
Anne Marie Green is Roanoke County's Director of General Services. "The transfer station's real happy this time of year," Green says. "It's Christmas for them, because our tipping fees do go up. Our volume goes up a lot."
"There are certain times of the year when you can predict there will be more stuff. Christmas is certainly one of them."
As Roanoke County crews deal with the extra waste, Green has a couple of requests. Don't overload the trash containers, she asks, because the excess can end up on the street. And dispose of boxes on days that are set aside for bulk items. Boxes can get stuck inside the county's trash bins, making them harder to empty.