How and what holiday waste can be recycled

Local News

COLUMBUS (NBC) — Christmas produces a lot of joy.

And garbage.

Americans produce 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the EPA.

People can lower that number by recycling delivery boxes, product packages and food containers that are empty, clean, and dry.

However, there are some things that shouldn’t go into your recycling bin and can actually do more harm than good.

Garland and Christmas lights are a no-no as they can get caught in sorting machinery at the recycling facility.

“We call them tangler,” said Pete Keller, a recycling and sustainability expert.

Keller also said if you are going to recycle gift bags, rip the handles off of them.

Or better yet, reuse them.

“I actually keep all the gift bags,” Keller said. “A lot of people reuse them, just take the sticker off.”

Wrapping paper can go in the recycling bin, too, even if tape or gift tags are attached.

However, wrapping paper with foil or glitter is another no-no.

“This time of year, we’ll get the glitter and metalized wrappers, bows, ribbon… all of those things are problematic as well,” Keller said.

Also, while delivery boxes are recyclable, the packing material inside often is not.

One main thing to remember is to not bag your recycling before placing it in your bin.

If you put them in a bag, it’s all going to a landfill.

“We like to say keep it loose, don’t bag it,” Keller said.

This holiday, give mother Earth the gift of less waste.

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