Caution | State of local emergency renewed until May 24, 2021

Get Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information on closures, cancellations and service changes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates View our closures and service changes

Recycle Right

Reduce, reuse and recycle right for the holidays

This holiday season, make sure your gift wrap, boxes and Christmas food scraps end up in the right cart. Better yet, repurpose, reuse and get creative with how to reduce your waste this holiday season.

Find out where and how to dispose of your everyday items at What Goes Where.

Download our handy PDF for more Christmas tips to reduce your waste.


Holiday dinner

Meal planning and cooking

  • Make a shopping list and only buy what you need. Remember to shop from your pantry and fridge first to use up food you already have.
  • Use reusable containers for leftovers instead of plastic wrap or tin foil.
  • Save bones and vegetable peelings for soup stock. Compost what is left when you are done with them.

Holiday crafts

Gift buying and decorations

  • Buy items with less packaging. Making less waste is always best!
  • Set up a Secret Santa gift exchange with friends and family to limit the number of presents needed.
  • Make edible gifts like cookies or jam.
  • Repaint and repurpose your Christmas decorations to give them new life. Consider swapping items with friends and neighbors to change your décor up.

gift bag

Get creative with your gift wrapping

  • Use newspapers and flyers to wrap gifts and then recycle after.
  • Wrap gifts with dish towels, in jars or other household items you can reuse again later.
  • Most gift bags, boxes and tissue paper can be reused multiple times. Save your gift wrap to reuse next Christmas and for other celebrations.


Recycle electronics the right way

As you’re clearing out your old gadgets, take them to an electronics recycling drop-off location. They will get disassembled and the recovered plastic, metal, and glass will be recycled.

Christmas lights

Old and broken decorations

Holiday décor belongs in the black cart if it can’t be reused. This includes:

  • Christmas lights
  • Tinsel
  • Broken ornaments

Keep tanglers out of the recycling! Things like Christmas lights make a total mess at the recycling facility. They end up wrapping around all the good recyclables creating a giant ‘hairball’ that stops the sorting process and is a real hazard to clean up.


Foam packaging

Put all types of foam into your black cart. This includes:

  • Foam packing peanuts
  • Large foam packaging
  • Foam cups and takeout containers

Why isn’t foam acceptable in Blue Carts?

Foam breaks up into many small pieces that ends up contaminating the good recyclables. Keep foam out of your blue cart.