The Most Wonderful Time of the Year or the Most Wasteful?

posted 12/4/2013

With all the extra cooking, shopping, gift wrapping and entertaining during the holiday season, there is bound to be additional waste – but do you know how much? Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than any other time of the year, and much of it could be recycled or reused. It can be confusing, however, to know what should be recycled, go in the trash or be reused. That is where Metro Waste Authority can help you determine Where It Should Go!


Recycle catalogs, boxes, non-metallic greeting cards, and non-metallic wrapping paper in your Curb It! recycling cart. Paper gift bags can go in, but you must remove the handles. Plastic shopping bags can be recycled back at the store. In the U.S. alone, annual trash from gift wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons.


If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet! Reuse your ribbons, bows, garland. Otherwise, they belong in the garbage. 


Styrofoam, plastic packaging, aluminum foil and pans, disposable cups, plates and silverware do belong in the garbage. But why not try precycling this year? Precycling means preventing the need to throw away things by not purchasing items that contain excess packaging or are for single use (paper plates, napkins, etc.)

Other Holiday Items
There are many more holiday related things that are recyclable, but just not in your curbside recycling cart. Our recycling and disposal guide will direct you where to recycle items such as:

Computer and Electronic Waste
Real Christmas Trees and Other Yard Waste
Cooking Oil
Christmas Lights                                                                   

It is the perfect time of year to ramp up your reducing, reusing and recycling efforts. Have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season.                                                                          Sources: EPA,,