MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez residents are joining the rest of the country in participating in the biggest shopping season of the year. And two agencies, Martinez Police Department and franchise operator Republic Services (Allied Waste) are offering some holiday tips, one addressing safety and the other speaking for sustainability.
The police department has issued an advisory to remind shoppers that it’s a “prime season for package thieves.”
To discourage such scofflaws, also called “porch pirates,” the department’s advisory offers tips to avoid becoming their target.
The department recommends signing up for delivery service and postal alerts so residents will know when a delivery is scheduled and when a package has been delivered.
If no one will be at home when a package is scheduled for delivery, a resident should ask a trusted neighbor to hold the parcel, the advisory said, and if possible, the person should require a signature for all deliveries.
Another possible alternative is having packages sent to a workplace address or using a ship-to-store option.
The advisory encourages neighbors to watch out for each other.
“If you see a package on your neighbor’s doorstep, reach out and ask if they would like you to hold it until they are home,” the advisory said. “Better yet, if you work from home, post on Nextdoor (https://nextdoor.com/city/feed/?post=97994002) and offer to allow your neighbors to send their packages to your house.”
Residents who believe they have had packages stolen first should contact Martinez Police, 925-372-3440, the advisory said. “Then check with your neighbors on Nextdoor to see if they saw anything suspicious.”
Susan Hurl, Republic’s division municipal services manager, has issued her own tips if people want to have a recyclable Christmas tree this year.
First of all, don’t have the natural tree flocked, she said. “A flocked tree can’t be recycled,” she explained. Instead, the tree goes straight to the landfill as trash.
Those wanting to see how the holidays affect their trash pickup can do so online at https://www.republicservices.com/schedule. Those spending the holidays away from home and who want service paused may do so by contacting the franchise’s customer service department online at https://www.republicservices.com/customer-support/contact-us or at 925-685-4711.
The franchise company will be picking up trees during regular pickup days Jan. 7 to 11, 2019. Cleaned cut trees may be left by the curbside for that service.
Trees left by the curb must be prepared in advance before they can be recycled, Hurd said. “Please remove the lights,” she said. Icicles and ornaments also should be taken off, and the tree stand also should be removed, she said.
To her surprise, some residents forget to take off their reusable light strings when discarding their trees. A few people have mistaken their artificial trees for cut ones, and have disposed of them by the curbside, too, she said.
Hurd said those who want their trees recycled also may choose to chop it into sections for placement in the “green waste” bin.
Those that choose to put the trees in the green waste bin must trim them so branches are no more than 6 inches in diameter and no more than 3 feet long. The tree must be cut in sections so the bin can be closed.
Hurd is enthusiastic about residents selecting artificial trees that can be set up year after year with no impact on either recycling or garbage disposal efforts.
Republic soon will be announcing its Martinez sites for disposing of post-holiday cardboard and other packaging materials. The number of spots is being reduced to two, based on last year’s response, and one popular site, Alhambra High School, won’t be available this year.
Some of the items that can’t be recycled are aluminum foil, batteries, bubble wrap, cellophane, food waste, glass, light bulbs, plastic bags or plastic-coated paper, polystyrene foam plastic, such as foam “peanuts,” ribbon, stickers and address labels, tissue paper, waxed paper and foil or glitter wrapping paper. Excess trash and larger items also may be removed through a customer’s service request to Republic.