According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generate 25% more waste during the holiday season than the rest of the year. To help cut down on this large amount of extra waste, the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) is here to offer tips on how to properly dispose of the most common holiday items.
Wrapping Paper – Wrapping paper is only accepted for recycling for the two weeks after Christmas. Recycling mills anticipate that there is going to be a large amount of wrapping paper in the waste stream during this time of year and accept it for recycling so it is not all landfilled. Please fold and place wrapping paper loosely in your bin and do not place it in a plastic bag or tie it together with string. Foil wrapping paper, metallic wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons and bows are not accepted for recycling and should go in the garbage if they cannot be reused.
Gift Bags – Gift bags are usually made up of various materials including ribbons, glitter and foil. If you are not able to reuse these kinds of gift bags, then they are a garbage item. Plain paper gift bags can be placed in your recycling bin. Greeting cards and envelopes are accepted for recycling as well.
Decorations – Always try to reuse or donate decorations before throwing them away! String lights cannot be placed in your recycling bin. Instead, they can either be donated, be brought to the Authority’s EcoDrops for proper recycling, or be thrown away in the garbage. The Veterans Outreach Center located at 726 Washington Street in Utica accepts string lights and other decorations for either reuse or recycling. Real and artificial wreaths cannot be recycled and go in the garbage as well.
Christmas Trees – Live Christmas trees can be composted! They can be brought to the Authority’s Utica EcoDrop, or you can check with your local municipality to see if/when they will be collecting trees from the curb. Artificial trees are garbage if they cannot be reused.
For disposal instructions on any other holiday or non-holiday related items, use the Authority’s search tool at www.amirecyclable.com, or contact the Authority at 315-733-1224 or email@example.com. The Authority can also be reached on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.