The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they are also the most wasteful. How can we help with that?

“Wrapping paper and gift bags and all the embellishment come in many shapes and varieties,” said Jeremy Walters, Sustainability Ambassador at Republic Services. “The fancier they are, the less recyclable they are.”

So, since paper with glitter or other things affixed that are not paper can’t be recycled, it’s best to reuse them.

“The plain stuff, if it’s printed or has a design on there it’s fine, but the plain wrapping paper and the plain paper bags can go in the recycling bin,” said Walters. “Some things make better for reuse than others. Bows and ribbons cannot go in the recycling bin themselves. You want to save those for next year if they’re still good.”

The amount of additional holiday trash is very large.

“Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we actually see about a 25% increase,” said Walters. “That equates to about 1000 pounds extra. It’s a lot of stuff.”

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