The holiday season is a time for giving thanks and partaking in fun winter activities. Unfortunately, some of these traditions create excess waste. Once the celebrations have ended, the tree is taken down, and you’re surrounded by a sea of wrapping paper and ribbons – Where do you put all your waste? No worries, Loraas is here to help! This is a simple list of common holiday waste and where they go:
Bubble Wrap & Styrofoam
Even with a ♻ , Styrofoam protection or stretchable product wrapping like bubble wrap should be tossed in the trash (after you’ve popped all the bubbles of course). For recycling, all plastics are required to have a #1 through #7 and the recycling symbol ♻.
There are a few specialized recycled programs for soft plastics; click here to find a location using the The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council search engine.
Festive Decor: Bulbs, Garland, & Ornaments
Although beautiful, these items don’t look as pretty when placed in your recycling cart. Festive decor is not allowed as it can break or wrap in fast moving machinery at the recycling facility.
Get crafty – Try converting these items into homemade wreaths instead. Or try re-homing them by using an online buy and sell.
Rigid Plastic Clamshell Packaging
Every parent’s nightmare – rigid plastic clamshell packaging. This plastic shares the same name as the recyclable grocery store strawberry containers, except these ones can’t be recycled. The reason? Rigid clamshells usually do not have a recycling symbol and number or are a mixed material (plastic with paper, staples, or cardboard that cannot be disassembled) so toss them in the garbage.
Food Leftovers & Clementine Peelings
If you live outside of Saskatoon, you’re in luck! Food items (i.e. turkey bones, moldy bread, or 100% natural paper fiber item (i.e. paper napkin) can be composted using the Loraas green bin.
Don’t have one? Subscribe now by calling (306) 242-2300.
Gift Accessories: Ribbons, Bows, & Tinsel
Waste, waste and waste! All three of these items cannot be recycled.
If gently used, try reusing them year after year to add a little sparkle to your gifts or tree. Better yet, avoid these items completely.
Gift bags are recyclable if they are 100% paper with paper handles. If the bag is shiny with a plastic coating or cannot rip, tossed it in the garbage. Ribbon handles should be removed though.
More often than not, all gift bags and boxes will have a recycling symbol on them, however, that only means your product contains recyclable materials not that it can be recycled over again.
Paper Greeting Cards
The test for most paper products: “If you can rip it, we can recycle it.” This excludes cards that are glittery or have lots of little embellishments; please toss these in the garbage.
Better yet, create a new tradition and see how many years you can reuse the same card before tossing it. It’s an amusing way to reuse a normally disposable item and it gives your family members a good chuckle.
Real & Artificial Trees
If your community has a composting facility, check to see if they offer a real tree program. Remember, trees must be free of tinsel and decor in order to be composted.
Artificial trees are made of metal and plastics, but they cannot be recycled. Try donating or selling your tree first, before opting to discard as waste. For end-of-life trees, you can dispose of them at the Loraas Landfill.
Please do not put real or artificial trees in your recycling, waste, or organics carts or bins as they will not be collected.
Never put string lights (a.k.a Christmas lights) and electrical cords in your recycle cart please. These are not recyclable and are incredibly dangerous to employees when they become wrapped up in the machinery.
To find a potential recycling option, click here.
Wrapping & Tissue Paper
Can it tear? Then it can be recycled! This excludes any decorative paper that is glittery, shiny, foil lined, or has a plastic coating. Reuse good quality paper if it cannot be recycled.
A little bit of tape is okay, but try your best to keep recyclables as pure as possible and remove it. All other recyclables should be placed loosely into your cart; don’t bag or box items. But, if the paper is ripped into small pieces, place small shreds into a clear/clear-coloured bag when recycling.