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All of the gifts have been opened, and everyone is enjoying their new toys. 

But what do you do with all of the boxes and wrapping paper and stuff?

Christmas trees

Cardboard boxes

Paper Coffee Cups

  • Empty and dry paper cups can go into the recycling.
  • The plastic lid goes into the trash.
  • The carboard sleeve should be taken off the cup and placed into the recycling separately.

Plastic odds & ends

  • Toys and other gifts are often secured to their boxes with plastic tabs - those tabs go into the trash.
  • Straps, sheets, plastic wrapping of video games, and a lot of other plastic stuff that comes with our gifts belong in the trash, too.
  • The triangle with an number only shows what kind of plastic the item is made from - that symbol doesn't mean its recyclable.
  • Only put appropriate plastics into the recycling cart.

Gift bags

  • Save them to reuse next year (and the year after that)
  • Do not place these bags into the recycling
  • These bags should go into the trash.

Holiday Cards

  • Cards that are just plain paper can be recycled
  • Ones that contain foil or glitter should be placed into the trash
  • Ones that play songs, light up, or perform other functions have lithium batteries inside them.  These require special attention if you wish to recycle them. Follow these three steps:
        1. If you can remove the battery from the card, do that and then recycle the battery at a drop-off site or another battery recycler.
        2. Next, remove the lights, music playing, or other mechanical devices from the card. These would go into the trash or to a drop-off sites for recycling in the electronics container.
        3. Whatever paper is leftover, if it is just plain paper and if the pieces are bigger than a standard 3" by 3" sticky note, then those pieces can be recycled in the green cart at your home.
        • If you cannot dissect this style of card, or prefer not to undertake these steps, place it into the trash.
        • Why do you have to do all those steps to recycle these style of cards? Cards are powered by lithium batteries are fire hazards in your recycling cart. They cannot be placed into your recycling cart.


  • Never place Styrofoam in the recycling cart.
  • Take it to a drop-off site if it is the right kind of foam.
  • Styrofoam recycling is a special drop-off only program that is entirely separate from the recyclables in your cart.
  • Remember - just because the Styrofoam sheet has a triangle and a number on it doesn't mean it belongs in your recycling cart.


  • Never place electronics in your recycling cart.
  • Take them to a drop-off site.
  • Some items require a recycling fee.

Wrapping Paper

  • Plain decorative wrapping paper is recyclable.
  • Paper with foil is not recyclable and belongs in the trash.
  • The cardboard tube of paper is recyclable as well

Bows & Ribbons

  • These go into the trash (or stored to use again next year)
  • Be sure to separate them from the wrapping paper.

Greeting Cards

  • Simple greeting cards can be recycled.
  • Ones with foil, glitter, or other metallic embellishments belong in the trash
  • Cards that play music need to have battery & music device removed

Gift Cards

  • If they cannot be re-loaded with funds and used again, they belong in the trash.

String / Twine / Twist Ties

  • These tanglers all belong in the trash.


General Recycling tips

  • Keeping the lid of the recycling cart closed protects the material inside from the rain and snow that can damage paper.
  • Make sure the cart is out by 6:30am on your scheduled collection day.


what happens to your recycling?

Watch a video about the Pellitteri Waste Systems recycling facility sorts everything you have placed into the recycling carts.