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Allied Waste Creates ‘Naughty vs. Nice’ Recycling List

Tips aim to help residents cleaning up after the holidays

It’s a new twist to the naughty vs. nice list. Even if you’ve been a good recycler all year long, the question of what to do with holiday decorations and gift wrap can still present a challenge.

Is wrapping paper recyclable? What about Christmas tree ornaments? Tinsel?

To answer those questions, Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara has put together its own list of “naughty and nice” recyclable items you may come across when cleaning up after the holidays.

Nice (recyclable)

Gift boxes
Tissue paper
Shoe boxes
Christmas tree
Holiday cards/envelopes
Gift bags, if paper
Wrapping paper (consider reusing)                       

Naughty (not recyclable)

Bubble wrap (consider reusing)
Styrofoam peanuts
Ribbon and bows (consider reusing)
Anything on the tree
Sticky gift labels
Gift bags, if coated, laminated, dyed

“Recycling is important because it reduces our dependence on landfills,” said Stephen MacIntosh, Allied Waste Services’ new general manger. “Making products from recycled materials also saves energy in the manufacturing process and reduces the amount of raw material that is extracted or mined from the earth.”

Ribbons and bows can’t be recycled. Christmas trees must be stripped of all decorations (tinsel, lights, bells, ornaments, etc.) before the tree can be mulched or composted.

MacIntosh said that although it may take time to sort through everything, we can all do our part to help with recycling efforts and protect the environment.

Allied also encourages reusing items that are not recyclable. For example, use sustainable packing materials when packing and sending gifts. Instead of purchasing new foam peanuts, use shredded newspaper or even popcorn, or marshmallows (still in their sealed bags). Foam peanuts are made from polystyrene and usually aren’t recyclable. Consider reusing foam peanuts received in packages for later shipping.

For more information about recycling this holiday season, call Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara at 805.965.5248.

— Daniella Elghanayan is a publicist.

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