Ways to Recycle During the Holidays

The holidays usually mean lots of leftovers, cans, bottles, gift boxes, wrapping paper and of course, the tree! As the average American increases her/his waste by 25% between Thanksgiving and the New Year, the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works encourages all City residents to reduce and recycle the usual bottles, cans and cardboard boxes. But what about those unique holiday items? What are some easy waste reduction strategies for the holidays?

Choose reusable plates, cups, and utensils for holiday gatherings. Make recycling easy for guests by putting out a recycling receptacle next to your garbage can. Use a reusable bag while shopping. Get creative with wrapping. Reuse newspapers or paper grocery bags as gift wrap. Incorporate the wrapping into the gift, like giving kitchen tools wrapped in a hand towel. Also reuse gift bags and ribbons from previous years.

Support recycling by purchasing gift wrap and holiday cards made from post-consumer recycled paper. If every household in Milwaukee reused one yard of ribbon, the saved ribbon could stretch from Milwaukee to Green Bay.

Which holiday items can be recycled?

Greeting cards and wrapping paper can be recycled as long as they are free of ribbons, foil, and other non-paper items. Cardboard gift boxes and packaging can be flattened and recycled, or save them to re-use or storage. Gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and bows are NOT recyclable. Re-use them next year and save money and room in the landfill.

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