Make this Holiday Season an Eco-Friendly One

The holidays may be the most wonderful time of year, but they’re also the most wasteful. With parties, decorations, gift-giving, and travel, Americans generate 25% more waste than usual between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That equals almost 1,000 pounds of trash per household!

But much of what is thrown away during the holidays can be recycled or repurposed. 5 Star Waste encourages consumers across the country to incorporate environmentally responsible practices into celebrations and family gatherings with a few simple tips.

Simple Holiday Recycling Tips:

  • Save and reuse gift bags, ribbons and bows for next year – it’s smart for the environment and for your wallet.
  • Shipping gifts? Make shredded paper out of old newspapers and magazines, or reuse last year’s bubble wrap and foam peanuts.
  • Think twice when it comes to wrapping paper. Standard wrapping paper can be recycled, but anything with glitter or foil belongs in the trash – or save it for next year! Generally, the fancier the wrapping paper, the less recyclable it is.
  • 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 for any special instructions or electronics recycling options.


The most common holiday materials contaminating the recycling stream include:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Cellophane
  • Holiday ribbons & bows
  • Batteries
  • Food waste
  • Clothing & shoes
  • Holiday lights
  • Electronics
  • Foam peanuts

All of these items and materials should be placed in a waste container, not recycled.

Additionally, toy packaging made of heavy cardboard is only recyclable when the cardboard is separated from the plastic. 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 affixed to an envelope or wrapping paper.

Be sure to check with 5 Star Waste for any changes in holiday collection schedules and how to properly dispose of real Christmas trees.