Environmental Stewardship & Continuous Improvement in Solid Waste Management

Christmas Recycling

By: West Central Iowa Solid Waste Date: November 27, 2023

‘Tis the Season to Recycle: A Guide to Proper Christmas Disposal

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and generosity. However, it’s also a time when waste tends to skyrocket. From Christmas trees to wrapping paper, the aftermath of the festivities can leave a significant environmental footprint. This year, let’s make a conscious effort to spread cheer without harming the planet. Here are a few tips for proper disposal of holiday items, ensuring a more sustainable and eco-friendly celebration.


Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper

Greeting cards, whether received in the mail or hand-delivered, often pile up during the holiday season. Beautifully wrapped gifts are a hallmark of the holiday season, but the fate of that wrapping paper is often overlooked. Shiny, metallic, or glitter-coated wrapping paper is not recyclable, so opt for more eco-friendly options like plain paper, paper bags, or reusable fabric gift wraps. Unfortunately this year, no holiday cards or wrapping paper are being accepted for recycling. Therefore, we encourage you to ‘reduce and re-use.’  Consider repurposing them into gift tags or crafting projects. If you decide to part with your cards or paper, they need to be put in the garbage that will be sent to the landfill.

Christmas Lights

When those twinkling lights lose their luster, it’s essential to dispose of them properly. At Carroll County Solid Waste, we do accept old Christmas lights for recycling. Place them in your recycling bin or drop off at our site in Carroll. Never throw lights in the regular trash, as they can contain hazardous materials.

Gift Packaging

The boxes, bags, and other packaging materials that come with holiday gifts can accumulate quickly. Cardboard boxes are recyclable, but they should be broken down and flattened before recycling. Styrofoam and bubble wrap, on the other hand, are not recyclable in curbside bins. Explore creative ways to reuse these materials and as a last resort place it in your trash can.

Ribbons, Bows, and Twine

While these festive embellishments add a touch of elegance to gifts, they can pose a challenge for recycling. Ribbons and bows are often made of mixed materials, making them difficult to recycle. Consider saving and reusing them or donating them to local schools, craft shops, or community centers. Twine, if made of natural fibers, can be composted.

Christmas Trees

Once the presents are unwrapped and the ornaments are carefully packed away, it’s time to bid farewell to your Christmas tree. Real Christmas trees should be placed in the compost. In the City of Carroll, the Carroll Kiwanis Club is again offering Christmas tree removal on Saturday, January 6th from 8-10am. Be sure to remove all decorations, lights, and tinsel and place your tree by the curb the night before. For artificial trees, consider recycling them. Again, remove all decorations and lights and drop off at the Carroll County Solid Waste location on the west side of Carroll.

By incorporating these eco-friendly practices into your holiday routine, you can make a positive impact on the environment and spread the spirit of sustainability. Remember to always stay informed about your local recycling guidelines as these do change over time. Encourage friends and family to join in the effort to make this holiday season not only joyful but also environmentally conscious. Cheers to a green and Merry Christmas!

For further recycle questions/answers…visit How Do I Dispose of …OR Why Recycle?