Cut down on your holiday garbage



Posted on December 28, 2009 at 1:37 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 28 at 6:55 PM

SEATTLE - Four Million tons of wrapping paper

Thirty-eight thousand miles of ribbon.

That's how much holiday waste government experts estimate Americans produce each year. But there are ways to reduce it. The first step, says King County Recycling Manager Jeff Gaisford, is to determine what can be recycled.

"Anything that is very paper like, any normal paper, this can go into the recycling," he said.

Gaisford recommends the touch test. If it feels like paper, it probably is.

If it feels like foil, it's garbage.

If it's a ribbon or bow, it's reusable.

Gaisford said you can even reuse old holiday greetings cards by cutting them up into gift name tags. Gift bags are also reusable and are commonly used instead of boxes and wrapping.

There are also several options for recycling your leftover Christmas Tree. 'Treecycling' is so common these days that there are lists of places where you can take them for little or no charge and relax knowing they will be ground into compost or landscaping bark.

Finally, you are making the switch to energy efficient LED holiday lights, you can also take your old lights in for free recycling.

Click on the links below for treecycling events in your neighborhood. If you don't see one listed near you, contact your city or county to ask them about their tree recycling options.