‘Tis The Season for Responsible Recycling! 

12/3/2019

As we inch closer to the holidays, you’ll probably be busy with last-minute shopping and wrapping gifts for loved ones. It’s undoubtedly a chaotic time of year and recycling is probably the last thing on your mind. But did you know the amount of trash produced in the US increases by 25 percent during the holidays? That’s about one million tons of extra garbage every week! By reducing how much we throw away, we can give a gift to the environment. Here is a handy guide on what to recycle and what not to recycle during the holiday season. 

Don’t Bother With Most Wrapping Paper

Wrapping a gift is a fun, festive way to surprise a family member or friend. But once it has served its purpose, the wrapping paper usually just sits on the ground until it is gathered up and thrown away. Unfortunately, you cannot recycle most wrapping paper because most varieties are part plastic or foil. If you’re shopping around, look for wrapping paper that is free of glitter, foil, and is non-laminated. This is the only wrapping paper that can be recycled properly. 

If you don’t want to bother trying to find this specific kind of wrapping paper, consider wrapping presents with newspapers or magazines which are both recyclable!

No Tissue Paper

We get it, colorful tissue paper is the perfect addition to a gift bag. However, it’s not a perfect addition to the landfill, the place where it will end up. Tissue paper cannot be recycled because it has dyes and usually disintegrates, turning into mush once exposed to the weather. Take your gift to the next level by putting it in a reusable bag your loved one can use over and over again. Now you have two gifts!

Take Excessive Shipping Tape Off Cardboard Boxes

If you want to recycle cardboard boxes you’ve collected over the holiday season, please try to remove excessive shipping tape. Having some tape on the boxes is fine, but it’s important to remember that tape is not a recyclable plastic. Boxes with large amounts of packing tape wrapped around them are more difficult to recycle. (Small pieces of tape are fine, though.)

Other Holiday Tips

  • Dispose of your Christmas tree responsibly: Seneca Landfill will be accepting Christmas trees for recycling. The cost is only $5 and you can drop it off at 421 Hartmann Rd, Evans City, PA. Please take all ornaments, tinsel, lights, and all other non-organic materials off of the tree before bringing it to the landfill. Seneca Landfill only accepts real trees, please do not bring artificial trees. 

  • Don’t bag your gifts in black garbage bags: Many people like to gather up gifts in garbage bags to help transport them (or stash tempting gifts away from the kids). While this may seem clever, you could easily get your gift bag mixed up with your actual garbage bag - trust us, it happens every year! To avoid accidentally throwing away your gifts, hide them in a safe and secure location.

  • Check (then double-check) packages for all gifts and parts: Before taking boxes, bags, cards, and gift wrap out to the curb, make sure you haven’t missed anything you want to keep. Take toy boxes apart to make sure there are no extra pieces, accessories or manuals. Check greeting cards and envelopes for tucked-away cash or checks.

  • Reuse or donate: The holidays and New Year are the perfect time to clean out the clutter and get rid of old toys, clothes or electronics. Unless your items are broken, ruined, or unusable, consider donating them to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, a local church or community organization, or a shelter. Last year’s gifts could be new-again for someone in need.

Enjoy the festivities, and remember to recycle and dispose of your waste responsibly!