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Compactor sites stay busy with post-Christmas rush
Sites collect 220 to 250 tons the day after Christmas
The Hall County compactor site on Sardis Road stays busy Monday morning as residents drop off their after-Christmas garbage. Due to winter weather, the Hall County compactor sites were closed on Sunday, the day after the holiday, leading to high traffic on Monday.

On Monday, throngs of people dropped off the remnants of their Christmas celebrations at Hall County's compactor sites.

Traditionally, the day after Christmas is the busiest day of the year in the trash business. But due to the snow and ice that blanketed Hall County on Sunday, the garbage collection sites remained closed for an extra day.

George Conner, an attendant at the Sardis Road compactor site, said he thinks Sunday's closure added to the traditional post-Christmas chaos.

"I have worked (after Christmas) the last couple years and it seems like this is the busiest one I've seen," Conner said. "It's just been constant all day long."

A steady stream of cars pulled into the site Monday afternoon, with each driver hauling multiple garbage bags visibly full of paper and the likely scraps of Christmas dinner.

"More or less you can tell by the bags it's Christmas decorations and wrapping stuff," Conner said.

Conner said there was too much garbage for the compactor alone to handle.

"We've emptied the compactor twice," he said. "They parked dump trucks out here and people been filling them up too."

Hall County Solid Waste Director Cary Lawler was bouncing between the county's 13 compactor sites to help with any issues during the hectic day.

"We consistently do between 220 and 250 tons the day after Christmas and have done so for the last three years, so this is pretty consistent, we just had to delay it by a day," Lawler said.

On a typical day, a compactor site will see about 70 or 80 tons of trash.

Lawler said a number of times during the day there were too many bags for the compactors to handle.

"We have surges of volume come in and that makes it tough for our compactors to take, so with that, the logistics of it are working with road maintenance and our crews to make sure that we adjust to those volumes," Lawler said. "We have about 20 additional staff from road maintenance ... and as those sites become overrun, we dispatch those crews to the sites to help out and clear it."

In the morning, crews also had to deal with garbage bags that were left at the gates over the weekend when the compactor sites were closed.

Lawler said though the day after Christmas is traditionally the busiest day of the year, January stays pretty busy, too.

"It is in its own right respectable as far as being our highest volume. Other than that we stay pretty consistent," Lawler said. "It will sort of settle down a little bit over the next couple days, but we'll day at some elevated volume until Martin Luther King (Day)."