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Over the holidays, we tend to both accumulate and toss out a lot of stuff. Unfortunately, much of what we toss out is not done so in the correct way, with proper disposal often not at the top of everyone’s mind. Due to the fact that this time of year can be incredibly wasteful, we’re going to take a look at how to properly dispose of three common items that are most tossed out during the holidays. It’s important to remember that it’s always better to reuse and recycle and that disposal should be the last option. However, we understand that those broken Christmas lights or that shredded holiday paper may not be able to be saved. ‘Tis the season of giving back to the planet, so that the planet keeps giving to us.

Christmas Lights


First thing’s first: never throw your Christmas lights in the trash and never throw them whole into the recycling bin. Christmas lights can be stripped down and recycled in separate pieces, taken into a facility that collects them or mailed in. Of course, the best way to dispose of your Christmas lights is to give them to someone who can repair (if they’re broken, of course) and use them. tells us more on the best way to dispose of Christmas lights:

“Recycling Christmas lights is better than putting them in the trash, but if the lights still work, you can do better. Keep using them. If you no longer like them and want a different look, see if any of your friends want the old ones. Or donate them to a thrift store so someone can have lights who can’t afford to buy them new.”

Wrapping Paper

It’s true that wrapping paper can be recycled – but that heavily depends on its material. Unless it’s entirely made of paper and doesn’t include any other materials that make it look more festive, it has to be thrown right in the garbage. Of course, if you’re able to reuse your gift bags and wrapping paper next year, this is the absolute best solution. tells us more on the requirements for recycling gift bags and wrapping paper:

“Wrapping paper, cards and paper bags can all be recycled, but only if they’re made out of the good stuff. By that, we mean 100% pure paper. Any sparkles, plastic film, rope handles, ribbons, glitter, foil doodads and it’s off to the garbage with them—unless you can tear off the non-recyclable stuff; then, by all means, put it in your recycling bin. That’s why buying the pure stuff matters. It can actually get recycled. And, if you can, a lot of this stuff can be reused. Maybe not cards, but you can always try and let us know how it went.”

Christmas Trees

It’s extremely common to put your live Christmas tree out to the curb at the end of the season. However, there are plenty of other ways to dispose of Christmas trees that are kinder to the environment. You can turn your tree into a home for backyard critters, donate the tree to a wildlife sanctuary, or donate it to a river, stream program. But if you do decide to put your tree to the curb, try to find out where it’s going and if it’s being properly disposed of. tells us the general requirements for curbside collection:

“Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the 2 weeks following Christmas. For curbside collection, there are often requirements for size, removing ornaments, flocking, etc. They’ll turn it into mulch, which may be free for you to pick up, if you want it!”

We offer a wide variety of waste disposal options, including how to dispose of these common holiday items, with services readily available online. Reach out to us to see what we can offer you.

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