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What to do with wrapping materials post presents

Posted at 4:08 PM, Dec 25, 2020

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, Americans throw away 25% more trash than any other time of the year. One of the biggest factors? Christmas wrapping materials.

Following holiday festivities, much of what covers seasonal surprises will get tossed in the trash.

During the pandemic, more people admit to buying online this year, creating more packaging material in trash cans.

This year, the Cold Canyon Landfill facility says they've seen more boxes filling up residential recycling bins.

“Unfortunately, I think I’ve done a little too much online," San Luis Obispo resident Marti Valley said.

This holiday season, Valley says she's had at least eight boxes ship to her house, but she is doing what she can to reuse them.

Not all items, however, should end up in the blue bin.

“It doesn’t take a long time to sit down for a cup of coffee and a little bit of reading to get an idea of what does get recycled and what doesn’t," San Luis Obispo resident Mark Ennen.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority, both tissue paper and wrapping paper should not be recycled.

Additionally, bows and ribbons should not be recycled, especially those with glitter.

Following Christmas tear down, Christmas lights should be thrown in the trash along with any batteries. Batteries that end up in recycling bins can cause fires at recycling facilities.

Cardboard is safe to recycle, and recycling experts encourage it.

Before you go filling up your Christmas bin for next wrapping season, consider opting for recycled paper or newspaper to help reduce waste for the holiday.

According to research from Stanford, if every family in the United States reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, it would save 38,000 miles of ribbon, enough ribbon to tie a bow around the entire planet.