Warning about throwing away gift boxes

POSTED: 6:03 PM Dec 26 2013   UPDATED: 6:20 PM Dec 26 2013
christmas trash
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

The day after Christmas, many people spend time sorting through gifts and throwing away boxes; but, we have a warning about throwing away those boxes.

The day after Christmas has also been called the busiest day of the year for sanitation crews collecting trash, because most garbage cans are packed full. "Usually the first week of April, we get the extra and the week after Christmas we always try to keep up with the extra," says Johnson City Sanitation truck driver Tony Miller.

Miller tells us usually they never have to get out of the trucks, but the week after Christmas they get out anywhere from three to 200 times per day. That's because of boxes sitting out with the trash. "Basically, you've got TV boxes, you have some computers, but most of them are big screen TV's and things of that nature," he said.

Putting the boxes outside your home could make you a target. Washington County, Tennessee Sheriff Ed Graybeal says you don't want to put boxes outside of your home, because that could give criminals a reason to break into your house. "Most of the folks that are going to break into your house, they don't have anything to do, so they're just going to walk around the neighborhood and see what's there, see what kind of an opportunity they can take," he said.

Graybeal recommends cutting up the boxes and putting them in a trash bag. If you want to use your trash pick-up service, he says to not put garbage can out the night before. "Wait until the day the recycling is coming to actually put them out there, in the morning of," adds Graybeal.

Meanwhile, the sanitation workers will be working to make sure they pick up everything quickly.

Sheriff Graybeal also suggests if your name or a shipping label is on the box, take them to a landfill yourself -- they are secure, they have locks, and people are unable to get inside.