Kirstin Davis

Recycle Right this Holiday Season

Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 3:26 p.m.

Recycle Right this Holiday Season

It's that time of year when boxes and packages start arriving on doorsteps with packing materials and gift-wrapping stations are littered with pretty holiday paper, ribbons, and bows. Cards are arriving in mailboxes with season's greetings and joy is in the air. What's on the recycling "Naughty and Nice List"? Here's a guide!

Boxes, Mailers, Packing Materials

Break them down! Be sure to flatten all cardboard boxes before you put them in your blue recycling cart and the lid can close. Plastic, bubble wrap mailers or paper envelopes lined with plastic should go in the brown garbage cart. Styrofoam packing materials and inflated bubbles should also be put in the brown cart.

TIP: Create an area to pile the broken-down boxes and cut down Styrofoam pieces to take up less room in the cart. Pop those inflatable plastic bubble packing before you toss it.

Gift Wrap, Ribbon, Bags, and Bows

Paper wrapping or bags that are NOT shiny or metallic can go in the blue recycle bin. Metallic paper and bags, tissue paper, ribbon and bows need to be thrown away in the brown garbage cart.

TIP: Know in advance what is recyclable and what isn't and designate a space or bag for the items by recycle, trash, and reuse. Remove the handles from recyclable paper bags.

Greeting Cards

Receiving friends and family picture cards makes the season bright! If you're not going to leave them displayed throughout the year, the paper cards can go in your blue recycling cart. Photography paper and envelopes with glitter and metallic material need to be thrown away in the garbage cart.

TIP: Separate the "shiny" photo cards, metallic or envelopes with glitter from the others for quick, organized disposal.

Fresh Trees and Strings of Lights

You can set your fresh tree out for free pick up by the City of Spokane, starting Tuesday, Jan. 2 through Friday, Jan. 12. Make sure it' cut in half if it's taller than six feet and the trunk needs to be less than 3" in diameter. All lights and ornaments must be removed. Christmas lights should always go in the garbage cart, they are not recyclable and are a major tangling hazard for equipment.

Batteries and Electronics

Batteries should not be put in the garbage and many batteries can start a fire in trucks or in transfer stations and the Waste to Energy Facility. Always separate batteries from the rest of items being disposed and set in a bag on top of your blue recycling cart every other week or take to the designated area at transfer stations and the Waste to Energy facility. Evaluate your electronics to see if they are part of the E-Cycle program (computers, monitors, cell phones, tablets, and DVD players) or donate them if they are working.

TIP: Search for your items in the Spokane Waste Directory.

Plates, Cups, and Silverware

If you are hosting holiday gatherings or expecting guests and using disposable products like plates, cups, silverware, and foil pans; know where they go. Compostable plates and paper products like napkins can go in your green yard waste cart until spring curbside collection resumes. Any coated plates, plastic silverware, and foil pans need to go in the brown garbage cart.

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