During the holiday hustle and bustle remember to keep an eye out for things you can do to reduce waste. Americans create 25 percent more trash than usual during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. To make sure you’re not creating more waste, here are 5 holiday recycling reminders for you.

  1. Fix or recycle your broken Christmas lights. As you put away your holiday decorations, don’t throw away that string of lights that just petered out. First, try these easy tips for fixing Christmas lights at https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-fix-broken-christmas-lights/. If that doesn’t work, don’t throw them in the trash or your recycling bin. Christmas lights are considered e-waste (electronic waste) and are made up of a variety of materials, including glass, plastic and metal. Check with your local recycling provider for where to take your strings of holiday lights for recycling; usually at your local Household Hazardous Waste facility. Or find it here.
  2. Remember to recycle or reuse all the giftwrap, tissue paper, Holiday cards, magazines and other extra flyers that we all seem to accumulate over the holidays. Tissue paper can always be used again for gift giving, extra padding for shipping items or for doing craft projects with your kids. Holiday cards can be reused for next year’s gift tags or place setting cards. Check with your local recycler to see what items can and can’t be put in your recycling bin.
  3. Make sure you recycle all those empty bottles and cans you collected while entertaining during the holidays. Glass and aluminum can be recycled again and again without loss of properties.
  4. Reuse your unwanted artificial Christmas tree. Artificial Christmas trees can’t be recycled through most local recycling providers. If your tree is still in good condition, consider donating to a local thrift store, charity or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  5. Recycle your real Christmas tree. Most cities around the country offer some kind of curbside Christmas tree pick up or drop off. The trees are then recycled into mulch to use in city parks and flowerbeds. Check your city’s website for information in your area.
In addition to these recycling reminders, be sure to check with your local recycling provider to review what is on their “naughty” and “nice” list. When you’re making a purchase look for items made from recycled materials, reuse your shopping bags and look for items with minimal packaging.