What Christmas items can go in the recycling bin


(KELO) – Christmas is over, leaving many of you with some new toys and piles of ripped up wrapping paper. While you might think it’s all recyclable, that wrapping paper could actually do more harm than good.

Marissa Begley with Millennium Recycling Inc says this time of year we produce 25 percent more waste than the rest of the year. While it’s nice to see everyone recycle, there are a few things the company doesn’t want to see in their bins.

“After the holidays when people are throwing away their gift wrapping waste or any other type of holiday waste we see a lot of stuff ending up in the recycling bin,” Marissa Begley said.

But there’s some things that aren’t a good sight to see in the piles. Begley points out many things that might be in your living room right now, including wrapping paper, cards, and decorations.

While gift wrapping seems like something easy to recycle, a lot of the paper contains heavy dye, glitter, or laminates that makes it non-recyclable. Also things such as lights and trees should not be recycled.

Millennium Recycling wants to remind people that the more non-recyclable items that they put inside these single stream bins could cause issues for its equipment.

“If it’s a stringy item it can get caught in our equipment and it actually shuts us down and we have to go in and cut the materials out,” Begley said.

After you drop the items off in the bin, people with the company spend hours sorting through it. They find plenty of items that shouldn’t be there. Begley says for people who want to be environmentally conscious with their wrapping, there are options.

“Brown bags or newspapers or maps even. Those are all one of the basic recycling categories so we can expect those for recycling. You can also use reusable gift boxes or fabric and keep reusing those, but those are also usually not recyclable,” Begley said.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks at Millennium Recycling, but there some things you can keep out of the bin to help them out.

Also, if you got a package from Amazon at your doorstep, you can recycle the box, as long as you throw away the styrofoam inside the box.