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Not all holiday items are recyclable and some create challenges for recycling centers

Posted at 12:02 AM, Dec 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-25 03:02:45-05

Christmas lights, batteries, and even types of holiday wrapping paper sometimes get thrown into the recycling bin.

However, these items from gifts and Christmas decorations can create major difficulties for crews and equipment during the holiday season.

"During the holiday times, we end up with a lot of wishful recycling," said John Ryan, Cold Canyon Processing Facility manager.

The most harmful products that get mistaken as recyclable, come from your everyday electronic devices.

"The biggest issues that we're having nowadays are with the lithium ion batteries and they end up causing fires in the facility which is full of combustible material," said Ryan.

Electronic devices, batteries, and even holiday musical greeting cards aren't recyclable or even trash.

They're considered household hazardous waste and if you need to dispose of some there are six facilities in San Luis Obispo County to do so.

Here is a list of the six hazardous waste facilities in San Luis Obispo County:

Chicago Grade Landfill
2290 Homestead Road, Templeton, CA
Hours: Saturday 11am-3pm

Cold Canyon Landfill
2268 Carpenter Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA
Hours: Friday and Saturday 11am – 3pm

Heritage Ranch Community Services District
4870 Heritage Road, Paso Robles, CA
Hours: Friday 12pm - 2pm

Morro Bay Household Hazardous Waste Facility
160 Atascadero Road, Morro Bay, CA
Hours: Saturday 11am – 3pm

Nipomo Household Hazardous Waste Facility
509 Southland Street, Nipomo, CA
Hours: Saturday 11am – 3pm

Paso Robles Landfill
9000 CA Hwy. 46 East, Paso Robles, CA
Hours: Saturday 11am – 3pm

"They can bring them in free of charge and we'll dispose of them in the proper way," said Matthew Knowlson, Cold Canyon Landfill manager.

When you're cleaning up after opening presents or taking down decorations, it's best to make sure trash, recyclable, and hazardous waste items are tossed out correctly.

"For the most part I think most of our customers try to do the right thing but again there is some misconceptions of what we do with Christmas lights," said Ryan.

Cold Canyon employees and managers say during the holiday season any help they can get from their customers disposing of items in the correct place, will go a long way for crews and their safety.