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How to Recycle Right This Holiday Season

From Christmas wrapping paper to cardboard gift boxes, here are tips for recycling those items correctly after the holiday.

 

It’s that time of year again – a time of festive cheer, celebration, overall jubilee and of course, Christmas gifts. 

As Rhode Islanders prepare for the height of the holiday season, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) is urging residents to recycle right this season, by following the “Do’s and Don’ts” of holiday recycling. 

“Americans consume more during the holiday season than any other time of the year,” said Sarah Kite, Director of Recycling Services for RIRRC. “From gift packaging to wrapping paper to trees and wreaths, it’s important that we remember to properly prepare these materials for recycling. By doing so, we give these materials a second life once the holidays have passed.” 

With this in mind, RIRRC presents the “Do’s and Don’ts” to recycle right this holiday and in the New Year.

If residents still use small green and blue bins for recycling curbside in their city or town, they can place extra recycling in any container clearly marked “extra recycling.” 

Paper & Cardboard:

  • DO: Recycle gift boxes, gift bags, wrapping paper, tissue paper, holiday cards, envelopes and wrapping paper tubes.
  • DON’T: Recycle foil based (Mylar) wrapping material, picture cards, bows and ribbons.

 Gift Packaging:

  • DO: Recycle “blister packaging” – the often hard-to-open, firm plastic packaging that items such as small toys and consumer electronics come in. Also remember to bring any clear or lightly colored plastic bags and films that stretch back to the grocery, pharmacy, or big-box store with your plastic shopping bags.
  • DON’T: Recycle any Styrofoam packaging. Clean, dry Styrofoam can be dropped off for recycling at KWD, Inc., 582 Great Rd., North Smithfield.

 Christmas Trees and Wreaths:

  • DO: Completely remove all decorations and trimmings from Christmas trees and wreaths. Remove lights, ornaments, metal wiring on wreaths and the tree stand before placing out for curbside collection. The Coventry Department of Public Works will be collecting discarded Christmas trees curbside in January. Residents may also drop them off at the town's transfer station Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • DON’T: Recycle artificial Christmas trees. If you are looking to dispose of your artificial Christmas tree, first consider donating it. If not donated, the tree can be put out for the trash according to your local municipality’s rules for oversize/bulky items. Before doing so, completely remove the lights and any other decorations from the tree. 

Christmas Lights:

  • DON’T: Recycle Christmas lights in your bin. They wrap around equipment and cause shut downs in the Materials Recycling Facility. If you are not mailing them in for recycling, please place them in the trash.

RIRRC will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

For more information about recycling during the holidays and the new Recycle Together RI program, visit www.RecycleTogetherRI.org or call 401-942-1430.

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