Even though the holidays are advertised as a time to spend together with family and friends, we shouldn’t forget that they involve a great deal of consumption. This results in a tremendous amount of waste.
Many of these materials are recyclable, and responsibly disposing of them has become easier in recent years as well. As part of the holiday celebrations, there is often additional packaging and paper! It is important to properly recycle your holiday packaging and paper.
Here is a list of all the common holiday goods along with other miscellaneous items:
#1 Christmas Trees
Your used Christmas trees can be recycled or donated to many worthwhile charities after the holidays. Throughout January, Vancouver organizes a number of Christmas tree chipping events where you can recycle your own tree.
Volunteers of the Lions Club chip the trees, which are then taken to the Vancouver Landfill to be composted. Bringing cash or non-perishable food items is encouraged to benefit local charities.
The following locations often host tree chipping events in January:
- The parking lot of the Kerrisdale Community Ice Rink (5670 East Boulevard, north of 41st Avenue)
- The parking lot at Kitsilano Beach (Cornwall Avenue and Arbutus Street)
- The upper parking lot at Sunset Beach (Beach Avenue and Broughton Street)
- The overflow parking lot at Rona Home & Garden (2727 East 12th Avenue, north of Grandview Highway, south of 12th Avenue)
#2 Gift Wrap & Packaging
Gift wrap made of 100% paper can typically be recycled in curbside recycling programs.
Paper that is foil-lined, musical greeting cards with batteries or holographic is not recyclable and therefore must be thrown away.
Before recycling your wrapping paper, take out any tape, tags, ribbons, and bows that are not 100% paper. Store any tags, ribbons or bows that can be reused in the future.
Don’t be discouraged if you unwrap your gifts and keep the wrapping paper safely to reuse it. Being eco-conscious is more significant than being cheap.
You can, however, recycle wrapping paper and old greeting cards in your mixed paper bin if you can’t resist ripping into your gifts on Christmas morning.
Some retailers, like London Drugs, even recycle product packaging. If you purchase an item from the store, keep the receipt and let the store sort and ship it for you.
#3 Holiday Lights
To avoid unnecessary waste, replace any broken bulbs with new ones before you throw away your string lights.
You can recycle light fixtures for free at a number of light fixture recycling depots.
If you want to recycle your lights, you can hold onto them until next year. If you trade in your standard incandescent bulbs before the holidays, many stores offer discounts toward energy-efficient LED lights.
Heavy metals found in batteries can pollute the air, earth, and water, so they should be kept separate from household waste and recycled properly.
As part of the Recycle program, you can drop off household alkaline and rechargeable batteries at participating recycling depots.
#5 Electronics and Appliances
In case you scored a brand-new gadget this Christmas, dispose of your old electronics and appliances responsibly.
Workable pieces can be donated to thrift stores.
There are several drop-off locations throughout the city where you can recycle small appliances and power tools, including electric toothbrushes and blenders. Retailers also recycle electronics, appliances, and batteries.
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