Holiday Recycling Tips: How-to Recycle Your Holiday Extras and Your Christmas Tree Curbside for Free!

Holiday Recycling Tips: How-to Recycle Your Holiday Extras plus Recycle Your Tree Curbside for Free! Info here! title=

Learn the Do's and Don'ts of Holiday Recycling

Plus, How-to Recycle Your Tree Curbside for Free!

As the holiday's draw to a close, here's a few tips for proper disposal of unwanted wrapping paper, wreaths and trees!

Holiday Recycling Questions

  • Can glossy holiday gift bags go in the blue cart?
    Paper gift bags can be recycled. Tip: Usually if you can tear the paper fairly easily it will pulp up at the paper mill. Gift bags can be reused or donated to charity.
  • Can cellophane or foil wrapping paper go in the blue cart?
    Non-paper wrapping material should not go in the blue roll carts. Most “foil-like” paper is metallic ink on paper and is accepted with recycling.
  • Can present ribbons be recycled in the blue cart?
    Non-paper ribbons are not accepted (very few ribbons are paper-based).

    Plenty more tips below this break!

  • Can you recycle wrapping paper if it has tape on it?
    Nearly all tapes are fine, but no duct tape!
  • Can you recycle cards in blue cart if they have glitter on them?
    Small quantities of glitter are fine and metallic inks are fine too. No foil cards, please.
  • Can you recycle blister packs?
    Those new batteries with the hard plastic on the packaging? That’s an example of a blister pack, and they are not accepted in the blue cart. Call Metro’s recycling Hotline for recycling options at 503-234-3000, or save them for the Earth Day Recycling Event on April 21st, 2012.
  • Can you recycle poinsettias in the yard debris container?
    Small plants should be fine, avoid placing large amounts of dirt in the yard debris container. No foil or ribbon in the yard debris container, please.
  • Can you recycle wreaths in yard debris container?
    Yes, if all metal wire, ribbons, etc. are removed.
  • Can you recycle Styrofoam?
    No, block and soft Styrofoam can’t be recycled in your blue cart. Call Metro’s recycling Hotline for options, 503-234-3000 or visit Metro's recycling website here.
  • What do I do with packing peanuts?
    Packing peanuts can’t be recycled in your blue cart. Some businesses accept packing peanut donations. Call Metro’s recycling Hotline for options, 503-234-3000 or visit Metro's Find a Recycler.

Tree Recycling Options

Recycling preparation
It is important to remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands and other materials that are not part of the original tree. Most trees are ground up as part of the recycling process; foreign material can ruin a chipping machine. Also, nonorganic materials aren't good for a compost mixture.

Support a nonprofit fundraiser
Many nonprofit organizations offer pickup services or locations where you can take Christmas trees and wreaths to be recycled. They will charge a small fee or request a donation. These nonprofit groups accept trees at least one day on the weekend after Christmas.

Nonprofit organizations provide this service as a fundraiser for many worthwhile projects and as a community service. Dumping trees after sites are closed creates hardship for the groups having to handle them.

Once these groups are finished with tree recycling projects, the yard debris processing companies in the region will still accept them. Information about nonprofit tree recycling and yard debris businesses can be found here.

Use your curbside yard debris collection service
Curbside customers may recycle their trees in place of regular yard debris set out at no extra charge.

Follow these rules:

  • All trees over 6 feet tall are cut in half.
  • All trees collected in place of yard debris must be less than 8 feet tall.
  • Please contact your hauler if yours is more than 8 feet tall.
  • Flocked trees are acceptable.
  • Trees with tinsel or ornaments may not be recycled; please remove those items.
  • Wreaths and garlands can be recycled in your yard debris container only if all frames, wire, tinsel and ornaments are removed.
  • If you would like your tree picked up by a nonprofit for a small fee, contact Metro at 503-234-3000 to find out who is picking up in your neighborhood.

Donate Your Living Christmas Tree to be Planted
Here's a new twist on tree recycling – have it replanted. If you purchase a potted, living Christmas tree and would like to donate it to the City, our Watershed staff will replant it in one of Gresham natural areas. Find out more