Holidays often mean more waste being generated in households across the country. Everything from holiday wrapping paper to Christmas trees can have a negative impact on the environment if they are not properly handled after the holidays are over. Regardless of the holiday, there are things you and your family can do to help the environment and get rid of waste.
- Recycle or donate your tree. If you have a real Christmas tree, strip it of its decorations and drop it off at a disposal facility after the holidays are over. Since artificial trees are not accepted at the facilities, consider donating it to someone else to use next year.
- Sort the wrapping paper for recycling. One of the biggest misconceptions about wrapping paper is that all of it can be tossed in the bin for curbside recycling. In reality, only wrapping paper that is free of additives, such as glitter, can be recycled.
- Re-purpose holiday cards. Just like wrapping paper, only holiday cards without additives can be recycled. Instead of tossing the non-recyclables, re-purpose them as gift tags, bookmarks, or postcards.
- Check the policy for lights. Whether you used lights for your Christmas tree or a party, you might be able to add them to the recycling bin. Check with the curbside recycling provider to find out what the policy is for the lights.
- Rinse the aluminum before recycling. Aluminum, such as cans for carbonated beverages, are recyclable. However, sticky drink or food residue could lead to contamination of the other aluminum in a load. To prevent this from happening, take the time to rinse off the aluminum before tossing it in the recycling bin.
- Recycle plastic dinnerware and flatware. If you hosted family and friends during the holidays for meals and used plastic, you can recycle the cups, flatware, and dinnerware that was used. Remember to rinse the items before placing them in the bin.
- Avoid putting the wrong materials in the recycling bin. Lighter fluid and other flammable liquids should never be placed in your curbside recycling bin. Contact your city's recycling center to find out if there are disposal facilities in the area willing to accept those items.
It can take time and effort to reduce the waste from your holiday celebrations, but it is worth it. Some recycling facilities handle a wide range of waste products. Contact your local recycling facility like Industrial Services Inc to find out what other items from your holidays can be recycled.