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

Friendship Circles to host their 8th annual Walk, Run, and Community Day

The event will take place on Sept. 22 at Luther Burbank Park.

Libraries are welcoming spaces for everyone | Book Nook

A monthly column from the King County Library System.

Photo by Nityia Photography
                                Dora Gyarmati.
Redefine goals based on virtues to find joy | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and wellbeing.

Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
                                Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos uses blackberry picking as lessons for life.
Parables of life learned through blackberry picking | On Faith

A monthly column by Greg Asimakoupoulos dealing in matters of faith.

Donna Colosky is superintendent of the Mercer Island School District.
Welcoming students to a new school year

A guest column from Mercer Island School District Superintendent Donna Colosky.

SeaJAM, which kicks off the SJCC Arts + Ideas 2019–2020 season, will present “An Evening with Debra Messing” on Saturday, September 14, at Benaroya Hall’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. Courtesy photo
SJCC prepares for second annual SeaJAM

SeaJAM will present “An evening with Debra Messing” on Sept. 14.

Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
                                A plaque commemorating the date the Asimakoupoulos family changed its name.
A summer to remember | On Faith

A monthly column dealing in faith.

Ready or not, college is arriving | Guest article

How parents can help their students embark on a college career.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.
Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

Leaving for college anxiety | Dear YFS

A monthly advice column about issues faced by Islanders.

Author Claire Gebben gives blacksmithing a go at Bruce Weakly’s private shop on Whidbey Island. Gebben sought to learn the art of blacksmithing to better understand the life of her great-great grandfather, who immigrated to Cleveland in the mid-1800s. Photo courtesy of Claire Gebben
Island author Gebben’s work named Indie Book Awards finalist

“How We Survive Here: Families Across Time” reveals genealogical journey.

Advice for addressing marijuana use in college students | Dear YFS

Dear YFS is an advice column with reader submitted or posed questions from the Island.