Valentine’s Day is the time where people have a chance to remind their loved ones how much they are appreciated. This year, just over half of U.S. adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, spending a total of $21.8 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Celebrants are most likely to gift candy, greeting cards and flowers. While it is fun to give and receive these gifts, the amount of trash accumulated from Valentine’s Day makes it one of the most wasteful days of the year.
“The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority offers guidelines for proper recycling and disposal of Valentine’s gifts when the day is over,” stated Authority Recycling Educator Jamie Tuttle.
Valentine’s Day Cards: Greeting cards and envelopes can be placed in your curbside recycling bin loosely, with no plastic bags, string or twine.
Candy Wrappers: Candy is often wrapped in cellophane wrappers or those that are wax coated and made with nonrecyclable materials. Please place candy wrappers in your regular garbage for disposal.
Candy Boxes: Many cardboard candy boxes also contain a plastic portion and are not accepted for recycling. Candy boxes should be placed in your regular garbage for disposal. Consider reusing candy boxes for organizers for crafts, jewelry or other small items.
Flowers and Vases: Flowers and glass vases are not accepted for recycling. Consider reusing vases before disposal. Flowers can be placed in your backyard composter or set out with green waste. Flowers can also be placed in your regular garbage.
An Evening Together: Gifts that offer spending time with your loved ones such as cooking together or playing board games will leave you with great memories and little waste.
“Waste reduction and recycling is the easiest way to help the environment. With a little creativity and mindfulness, we can make holiday celebrations less wasteful. Reducing the amount of waste we create will conserve our region’s landfill space, natural resources and energy,” continued Tuttle.
If you are not sure how to properly recycle or dispose of an item, the Authority encourages residents to visit its easy-to-use tool at www.AmIRecyclable.com to search hundreds of different items and learn all the answers. When items that are not accepted through the RecycleOne program are placed in recycling containers, they interfere with the recycling of acceptable items.
For more information on solid waste and recycling, please visit www.ohswa.org or contact (315) 733-1224. You may also ask questions and find more information on the Authority’s Facebook Page (Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority).