Holiday Recycling Tips

Every year during the holiday season, Americans produce a lot of waste. It comes with the season. But there are some ways you can watch and reduce your waste this holiday season.

Keep it Simple

One thing you can do is keep your gift wrapping as simple as possible. Anything with glitter, embellishments, or glued on decorations can’t be recycled. When choosing your wrapping, go with something simple that can be recycled. A similar thing goes with holiday cards; choose simple cards that can be recycled. After opening gifts, any plain wrapping paper or plain paper bags can and should be recycled.

Remember the Cardboard

Another big one – cardboard boxes! Make sure to recycle all of your shipping boxes. Americans are buying gifts online more than ever before, and with the pandemic this year, that is only expected to increase. By doing your part and recycling the cardboard that comes through your home this year, we can help divert resources from landfills so they can be repurposed and reused.


Family dinners and traditions also may include wine, and while glass bottles cannot be recycled in your bin in Utah, there are drop off locations you can leave your glass. The same goes for any glass bottles you find yourself using during the holidays. Whatever your drink of choice is on New Year’s Eve, surely it comes in a glass bottle.

Items to NOT recycle

Just as important as remembering what to recycle is recognizing what to leave out of the recycling bin. Christmas lights can get tangled and make a mess when they reach the sorting facility and are therefore not recyclable. Leave the tinsel out as well for similar reasons. Ribbons and bows should also be thrown away since they are made of a material that can’t be recycled and, most times, are too small to be recycled anyway. And when recycling cardboard boxes, remember only to recycle the box itself, anything that came in the box as far as packaging goes should be thrown out before the box is recycled. (You really should be breaking down your cardboard boxes when recycling them anyway.)

The Christmas Tree

Once the holidays are over, if you are one of those who used a real Christmas tree this year, then be sure to recycle it! In Salt Lake, if you have a green container, you can just put it in there; otherwise, each city has different ways to dispose of your Christmas tree so it can be repurposed. Learn more here.


For further information on what can and cannot be recycled, our partner Atlas Disposal has more information on recycling dos and don’ts.


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