Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans generate 25% more waste than average. Republic Services, an industry leader in U.S. recycling, is reminding consumers to be mindful of the materials they use and to follows simple recycling tips to ensure their holidays are as green as they are merry.
Holiday parties, decorations, cooking, and gift-giving mean the average American household is producing about 1,000 pounds of waste during the holiday season. However, much of what is thrown away can be recycled or repurposed.
Follow these holiday recycling naughty-and-nice lists to make it easy to correctly sort and recycle the right materials, so you can focus on holiday fun.
The Nice List: What to Recycle
- Cardboard (that is clean, dry and flattened)
- Paper boxes (including gift, shoe, and shipping boxes)
- Plain wrapping paper and gift bags (no glitter, foil or decorations)
- Holiday cards and envelopes (without embellishments; remove the batteries from electronic greeting cards)
- Plastic bottles and jugs (that are empty, clean and dry)
- Metal food and beverage cans (that are empty, clean and dry)
The Naughty List: What to Reuse, Donate or Discard
- Decorations including lights
- Trees – artificial and real
- Clothing and shoes
- Ribbons and bows
- Cellophane wrapping
- Fancy gift bags and wrapping paper (with foil, lamination or decorations)
- Packing materials: bubble wrap, plastic air pillows, foam sheets and packing peanuts
- Food waste
- Electronics or anything battery-powered
Never toss old phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, toys or other items with a battery into your trash or recycling. If you’re replacing electronics, it’s best for the environment to keep them out of the waste stream. You can either donate working electronics to a charity or check with your local service provider for special instructions and options for electronics recycling.
To learn more about how you can simplify your recycling habits during the holidays, visit RecyclingSimplified.com.