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Creative Christmas Recycling

Turning other people’s trash into a holiday display

Casey Dillard has taken other people’s trash and created a Christmas display at the Mt. Hope Convenience Center in Sunderland.

“You may not feel the Christmas spirit when you come in here,” says  Casey Dillard, “but you will have it when you leave.”
    Dillard may have a future with the Island of Misfit Toys.
    The Calvert County Solid Waste employee has given new life to Christmas castoffs — the wreaths we didn’t like, the lights that stopped working, artificial trees outmoded in this year’s decorating scheme.
    An inflatable snowman now greets visitors coming to toss their trash into the compactor at the Mt. Hope Convenience Center in Sunderland. A trail of wrapped (but empty) packages leads the way to both recycling bins and Santa and his reindeer. Holiday music plays through overhead speakers.
    Dillard reclaims any reusable décor tossed into the bins, cleans it up, checks lights and cords and gets it in working condition.
    “People love it,” he says. “And I get something new in the bins almost every week.”
    Dillard debuted this recycling masterpiece last year on a smaller scale. “When I saw the reaction the county residents had to last year’s display, I knew I had to do it again this year and make it bigger,” the 34-year-old Lusby resident said. “It makes everybody happy.”
    “He’s helping people get rid of their trash, and he’s recycling it,” said Gayle Poudrier of Owings, who like other Calvert residents hauls her own waste and recycling to the dump. “I left there singing Christmas songs.”