Blog

Christmas Recycling

Wrapping Paper Recycling

A common mistake is that people think wrapping paper is recyclable. Unfortunately, this shiny paper is not; wrapping paper is usually laminated. There are a few exceptions to this, if your wrapping paper does not have a shiny coating or any foil properties, then you are safe to recycle. In this case, you can always try to reuse your wrapping paper for next year.

Bubble Wrap Recycling

Bubble wrap and plastic bags are made from the same material, making them unable to go into your curbside recycling bin. You can drop off unwanted bubble wrap the same place you recycle plastic bags. You can always chose to reuse it for crafts, or for a stressful situation! Pop Pop Pop!!!

Styrofoam – Packing Peanuts Recycling

Packing Peanuts are bothersome. They are messy and a pain to pick up. If you do not want to reuse them, here is a list of what to do with them.

  • You can check at Earth911.com for polystyrene recycling sites near you.
  • Bring them to a UPS or other packing facility
  • Call the Peanut Hot line!! 1-800-823-2214
  • Mail it back to Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.

There is a brand called Puffy Stuff that is biodegradable and all natural. This is an environmentally safer alternative.

Christmas Lights Recycling

Christmas light have a bulb out? Ready to toss them? A landfill is no place for tree lights. Tree lights have plastic and copper wiring that can be reused. Recycling facilities such as Metro Recycling will take your old Christmas lights!  Can’t bring it to us?

Mail it to:

Christmas Light Source Recycling Program
4313 Elmwood Drive
Benbrook, TX 76116.

Recycling Artificial Christmas Tree

Fake or artificial Christmas trees can have two main advantages, one is cost and the other is convenience. You buy one tree and you’re set for years. The convenience of an artificial tree is to pull it out of the crawl space or attic each year. There is no going to cut one down, dragging it into the house, watering it, cleaning up the pine needles and deciding what do to with it when the season is over. Now at the end of their life, you can recycle or upcycle them. Artificial Christmas trees are made from PVC plastic and steel. Turn in your old Christmas tree to recycling facilities and make a little money! Looking to upcycle your old Christmas tree? You can take the branches off and make a wreath or garland.

Recycling Real Christmas Trees

Roaming around the Christmas tree farm, cutting down the perfect tree, hanging lights and ornaments, the fresh aroma of pine needles, it is all part of Christmas. When Christmas is over what about the tree? Here are a few suggestions on how to recycle and upcycle your Christmas tree! According to the National Christmas Tree Association, between 25 million to 30 million trees are cut down every year.

  • Curbside pickup is usually available the two weeks after the holidays, just call to verify.
  • Home Depo has a recycling program after Christmas. Just call and ask!
  • Earth911.com  is a trusted resource, visit this website to learn more.

Porter County, Indiana

The Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction (http://www.portercountyrecycling.org) Centers encourage Porter County residents to bring their Christmas trees, Wreaths and other organic decorations to their compost sites.

  • Valparaiso Compost Site, 2150 W. Lincolnway (Hwy. 130 – 1 mile west of intersection with Joliet)
  • Boone Grove Compost Site, 546 South 400 West (Hwy. 8 to 400 West, head north to 550 South

Lake County, Indiana

Lake County Solid Waste Management District does not offer any tree recycling. Last year the city of Crown Point had a Christmas tree bon fire at Lake County Fairgrounds. Check to see if your local municipalities in the area offer a way to dispose of your tree!

Cook County, Illinois

Contact your local curbside collector or local municipalities for further information.

Upcycle your Real Christmas Tree

Instead of recycling your tree, there are a few ways to upcycle your tree right in your backyard!

Let’s start with using it as a bird feeder.

Prop your old tree outside and decorate it with the following edible ornaments: popcorn, citrus fruits, cranberries, bird feed, and peanut butter.  The National Wildlife Federation Blog has three easy crafts for this project.

Chip and Mulch your Real Christmas Tree

Chip your old tree and place it around your plants. As the chips decompose it releases the nutrients back into the soil and will depress weeds from sprouting.

Mulch your old tree or use it as ground cover to keep plants insulated.

Sink your Real Christmas Tree

If you have a pond, lake or river nearby or in your back yard, sink your tree (make sure its chemical free). Adding old Christmas trees provides a shelter for fish in the winter.

Give your Real Christmas Tree to the Chickens

 Throw your old tree to the chickens, they love to roost on it.

Make a Wreath and Potpourri

Break off old branches to make a wreath or even make your own potpourri.

Recipe

Pine tree clippings, lemon rind, orange rind, cinnamon sticks, cloves, rosemary

Throw it all into a pot of boiling water for one hour.

It couldn’t be any simpler!

Happy Holidays