With the frenzy of shopping and gift giving this holiday season, it would be reasonable to expect trash removal services to see an increase in the waste they pick up. But while the amount of residential waste rises, local companies say, trash from commercial customers drops off, balancing out the level of trash.

With the frenzy of shopping and gift giving this holiday season, it would be reasonable to expect trash removal services to see an increase in the waste they pick up. But while the amount of residential waste rises, local companies say, trash from commercial customers drops off, balancing out the level of trash.

“Residential waste was higher, but our businesses were about the same,” said Marian Miller, owner of Lloyd’s Trash Service, which has several commercial customers but removes mostly residential waste. “Our guys said their trucks were really full when they got to the landfill, about two to three percent more.”

But Matt Sanders, landfill manager for Waste Corporation — which has many more commercial customers — said business typically is down over the holidays.

“It doesn’t increase our trash flow because all the businesses are closed,” Sanders said, adding that “all kinds of different things factor in. We’re always down through the last couple weeks of the year.”

Sanders said most of the waste he sees now is “from under the tree,” or packaging material, which is lighter than typical waste and compresses more easily. He said his crews have been working fewer hours as well.

“We’ve got people on vacation,” Sanders continued. “The waste industry actually takes Christmas and New Years Eve off.”

Sanders’ crews are taking time off, and Miller’s are working at about their normal rate.

“One guy took an extra hour, but his route was longer,” Miller said.

The SEK Recycling center also is taking Christmas items, including trees, this year.

“This is the first time we have offered this service,” said Chuck Delp, operations director. “There will no charge, and the trees will be disposed of responsibly, for use as wildlife and fish habitats and mulch.”

Christmas trees will be taken during normal business hours, which are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The recycling center will be closed New Year’s Day.

Delp said the center also cannot accept tinsel or foam plastic.