Roughly 80 percent of what is thrown away during the holidays could be recycled or repurposed. Photo courtesy of Republic Services

Roughly 80 percent of what is thrown away during the holidays could be recycled or repurposed. Photo courtesy of Republic Services

Republic Services offers tips to make holidays more environmentally friendly

The recycling and waste disposal company aims to help everyone to do their part this holiday season.

  • Monday, December 25, 2017 10:00am
  • Life

Republic Services wants to help everyone to do their part to be more sustainable this holiday season, and encourages consumers across the country to incorporate environmentally responsible practices into celebrations and family gatherings with five simple tips.

“The holiday season can be a hectic time of year for just about everyone,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services. “Many of us want to be more sustainable during the holidays, but we aren’t sure how or we just don’t have the time. These five easy tips can help each of us to do our part to make environmentally responsible choices throughout the holiday season and help make a positive impact in our communities for generations to come.”

Republic’s tips:

1. When giving holiday gifts, commit to reusing laminated bags and recycling those made of paper.

2. Shipping gifts? Make shredded paper out of old newspapers and be sure to reuse last year’s bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts.

3. After opening gifts, remember to recycle the wrapping paper – even the shiny stuff – but save and reuse the ribbons and bows.

4. Getting a new device this holiday season? Make sure your old phone or tablet does not get tossed in with the recycling. Check with your local service provider on any special instructions or electronics recycling options.

5. Enjoy that holiday latte, just remember the paper cup, plastic lid and paper sleeve should be empty, clean and dry before tossing them into the recycling container.

With parties, decorations, gift giving and travel, Americans waste generation per household increases 25 percent, or almost 1,000 pounds of trash, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Roughly 80 percent of what is thrown away during the holidays could be recycled or repurposed, according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The most common non-recyclables contaminating the recycling waste stream during the holiday season include: bubble wrap, cellophane, string/rope, ribbons and bows, batteries, food, clothing, cell phones and Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene foam.

Remember that when it comes to toy packaging, both the cardboard and the plastic are recyclable, but they must be separated from one another. That includes the plastic window on the box of a doll or action figure. Sticky gift tags are not recyclable by themselves, but they are acceptable if fixed to an envelope or wrapping paper.

Check with your local recycling and waste collection service provider or solid waste authority to confirm what items can be recycled curbside or through the community drop-off this season. Republic also recommends checking in advance on any changes to your holiday collection date or time and special instructions for disposing of Christmas trees.

See RepublicServices.com for more.

More in Life

‘Hometown Hero’ fights cancer with community support

Firefighter, volunteer and “rad dad” Kirk Robinson is battling metastatic melanoma.

Mercer Island High School celebrates 60-year reunion. Photos by David Matsui.
MIHS celebrates inaugural class after 60 years

The MIHS class of 1958 celebrate reunion in 50s-themed drive-in and museum in Kingston.

Pixie Hill Preschool announces new director

New Pixie Hill Preschool director to continue teaching

New artist to be featured in next First Friday Art Walk

“Wabi Sabi: Celebrating Uniqueness” features new works on Aug. 3.

Mercer Island veterans take to the skies

Eight Covenant Shores residents experienced the flight of a lifetime.

Covenant Shores hosts speakers for ‘What I Love About Mercer Island’ series

Michael Medved spoke on the community’s beauty, values and school system.

MIVAL junior arts show features student art

120 art pieces were submitted in drawing, painting, crafts, sculpture, photography and digital art.

Local students graduate from Carleton College

The two Mercer Island graduates received bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and in sociology/anthropology.

King County Library System celebrates Summer Learning Day

KCLS joins thousands of education advocates across the country on July 12.

Concerns arise over Initiative 1639 petition format

The Secretary of State’s office will verify signatures submitted by sponsors of Initiative 1631.

Moana, mermaids and more flock to Mercer Island’s Summer Celebration parade

Community feels “Island Vibes” at this year’s annual festival.

Mercer Island groups seek to renovate facilities

The companies will hold community meetings to answer neighbor’s questions.