Holiday Items You Can Recycle
Keep our planet healthy this holiday by following these recycling tips
Paper & Cardboard
Flattened cardboard, newspaper, magazines, office paper and common mail can be recycled as long as they aren’t contaminated by food, liquid or waste.
- Packages are often made of mixed materials. Be sure to separate the cardboard backing from the plastic windows before placing them individually in your recycling container.
- Sticky gift tags are too small to recycle by themselves, but they can be recycled if they’re still stuck to an envelope, wrapping paper, or a paper gift bag.
Before recycling food and drink cans, remove paper or plastic labels and clean out any residual materials.
- Metal cans are usually recyclable, but not if they have an insulated coating. When in doubt, throw it out!
- All those holiday meals will result in plenty of dishes to wash, so don’t fret over thoroughly cleaning your recyclables. Just be sure to give them a good rinse and place them in your container when they’re dry so they don’t contaminate other items.
While hard plastic containers like water bottles, milk jugs and detergent containers can go in your container, flexible plastics like grocery bags, bubble wrap and styrofoam require special handling and can’t be recycled curbside.
- Lids on milk cartons, flavored creamers and eggnog are too small to be recycled by themselves. Place them back on the container or throw them away.
- The poke test is just as accurate during the holidays: if you can poke your finger through the plastic, it doesn’t belong in your recycling container.
Trash or Reuse
- Make sure recyclables are Empty of their contents, Clean of any residue, and Dry before tossing them into the recycling container. This helps significantly to reduce recycling contamination.
- Once cardboard or paper comes into contact with food or liquid, it can no longer be recycled. Make sure to keep your outdoor recycling lid tightly closed during wet winter weather and don’t use your recycling container as an overflow trash can.
- Never allow more than one teaspoon of liquid to remain in a recyclable item.
- When two or more materials are connected they cannot be recycled as is, even if they’re all recyclable.If all of the mixed materials are recyclable, like a plastic toy package with a paper insert, separate the materials and put them in your container individually.
- If only part of the mixed material is recyclable, like a credit card bill in a window envelope, separate the plastic portion from the paper and recycle only the paper.