It’s that special time of year to open gifts with loved ones, decorate your space and cook for the family. It’s also the time of year when Americans throw away 25% more trash than any other time of year.
The Kent County Department of Public Works (DPW) recently released its 2022 Holiday Recycling Guide, offering helpful tips for reducing holiday waste and keeping it out of the landfill.
Here are five things to know about recycling holiday materials:
- Dispose of your holiday décor the right way by reusing or donating your artificial trees, wreaths or garlands. Holiday lights should never be placed in your recycling bin and should be dropped off at special collection locations at the appropriate DPW facility.
- Reuse your packaging. Wrapping paper and gift bags aren’t generally recyclable because of the dyes and glitters used to make them sparkly and enticing. We encourage Kent County residents to reuse these materials. Other common holiday packaging like Styrofoam, bubble wrap and shipping envelopes can’t be put in curbside recycling bins and need to go to drop off facilities.
- Donate unwanted gifts. After feigning delight opening yet another ugly sweater, consider donating it and other unwanted gifts and toys to a local organization. Toys, clothing and other holiday items are made of fabric that often has too many different materials to be recycled.
- Safely dispose of your cooking waste by bringing it to one of our free SafeChem locations. Any kind of frying oil should never be dumped down the drain or thrown in the trash. Instead, our SafeChem facility will repurpose the waste into biofuel.
- Contribute to holiday cheer – not to a landfill. Many items you’ll use this holiday season can be recycled. Glass bottles and jars, as well as cartons and hard plastics, can be placed in your recycling cart once they’re rinsed. Cardboard is safe to go in the recycling cart without other packaging like zip ties and air pillows. Pie tins and other metal containers can also be recycled, as well as paper cups.