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  • Writer's pictureMetro Recycling


Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Posted on December 17, 2018

Recycle Christmas Items

The stockings are no longer hung with care, family has come and gone, presents are unwrapped, and the wrapping paper is scattered everywhere. What to do with all your leftover holiday trimmings: wrapping paper, boxes, packing materials, and your artificial Christmas tree? 


Artificial Christmas trees are convenient, cost-effective, and cleanly. With an average life span of 10 years, a fake tree can save you money in the long run. When your tree starts to look a little ragged, try recycling rather than tossing your tree in the trash. Artificial Christmas trees are made from steel, which means you can recycle your old artificial Christmas tree at one of Metro Recycling’s three locations. We’ll pay you to give your old tree another life!

Prefer a fresh tree? Between 25 million and 30 million trees are cut down every year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. When the holidays are over, you may be able to kick your tree to the curb; just call your waste management company to verify curbside pickup is offered in your area. Or, call your local Home Depot store to see if they participate in the national Home Depot tree recycling program!


Tinfoil is made from the same materials as pop cans—aluminum. Metro Recycling accepts tinfoil and foil roasting pans popularly used around the holidays. To recycle these correctly, please remove any contaminants from your tinfoil items including food remnants, cardboard sleeves, and corrugated tubes. Finally, ball up the foil items and keep them separated from your other recyclable materials.


Do you have blown-out bulbs in your string of Christmas lights? A landfill is no place for lights. Tree lights have plastic and copper wiring that can be reused. Learn more about recycling copper. Recycling facilities like Metro Recycling will take your old Christmas lights and pay you to recycle! Visit one of our three, convenient locations near you to recycle your old twinkle lights.


Did you know that the majority of wrapping paper is actually recyclable? There are some exceptions to this: if the wrapping paper is laminated or metallic, or has glitter or any extra embellishments, this makes it non-recyclable. Don’t know if your paper is recyclable? Use the “scrunch test.” Basic, un-laminated wrapping paper that doesn’t contain foil, glitter, or any extras should scrunch when you crumple it in your hand. Wrapping paper can be placed in your curbside recycling bin. Tried it and the paper doesn’t scrunch? Try reusing it before you toss it in the regular trash.


Bubble wrap and plastic bags are made from the same material (polyethylene), which means they can’t go into your curbside recycling bin. You can drop off unwanted bubble wrap anywhere you can recycle plastic bags. You can always reuse bubble wrap for crafts, packaging, or low-budget stress relief. Pop-pop-pop!


Packing peanuts are color coded for your recycling convenience. White and pink peanuts are the most common and are made of 70% raw materials. Green is the most environmentally friendly and will decompose. So, what to do with packing peanuts? 

Try running a packing peanut under water. Did it break down? If so, feel free to compost them.

If your packing peanuts didn’t melt, they’re petroleum based and can’t be composted. Try these steps to recycle them correctly.

  1. Call your local shipping and packing company for information on reusing peanuts.

  2. Call your local curbside recycling for tips and places to dispose or drop off in your area.

  3. See if any school or church could use them for a project or packing.

  4. Mail them to the Alliance of Foam Packing Recyclers.

When the holidays are a wrap, try recycling your wrapping paper, live trees, and packing materials at specialty recycling locations around you. It’s easy to recycle! Bring your artificial trees, tinfoil, and Christmas lights to Metro Recycling, where we pay you to recycle.

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