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Recycling right after the holidays

Make sure you're recycling right this holiday season by paying extra close attention to what you're throwing in the trash and recycling bin.
Credit: 10tv

Columbus, Ohio—Every holiday many of us get together with family and friends to eat, open presents and enjoy the company of one another.  

After all the festivities are done, your trash bin is probably more stuffed than your stocking on Christmas Day. You’re not the only one, though as the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that waste can go up as much as twenty-five percent over the holidays.  

Hanna Greer-Brown, Communications Manager at The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) said it’s important to recycle right this holiday season with the uptick in waste. 

After all the presents are opened, you’re likely dealing with a lot of ripped up wrapping paper. 

Greer-Brown said to recycle all your basic wrapping paper. This excludes wrapping paper that may have glitter or foil on it. That kind of wrapping paper should be thrown in the trash bin while all other basic wrapping paper should be put in the recycling bin. 

Live Christmas trees, garland and wreaths are also a popular decoration that does have a shelf life and should also be properly disposed of after the holidays. 

“You can put those out on your curb on your yard waste collection day after the holiday and they’ll be picked up and turned into compost,” said Greer-Brown. “It’s important to remember to remove any tinsel, garland, lights, ribbons or bows from the tree before you place it on the curb.” 

These trees then get taken to a facility where they are chopped up and get turned into compost to be sold the following year.  

You can also recycle any old, burnt-out holiday light by dropping them off at a Goodwill location in Central Ohio. You can also check with your local city and find if they have a holiday string light recycling program, which is usually up and running through the New Year. 

If Santa gifts you a new phone for Christmas, you can also recycle your old one at your local cell phone provider or Best Buy store. Any other electronic device or batteries should be dropped off at a local e-waste recycler.  

For items such as gift bags or tissue paper, Greer-Brown said you should not put these items in the recycling bin, but rather keep them and reuse them for future gift-giving or holiday occasions.   

For more details on what you can and cannot recycle here in Central Ohio go to swaco.org 


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