Holiday recycling do’s and don’ts from OCRRA

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The holiday season can be a busy one in general, but it certainly is in the recycling world.

OCRRA is issuing some help on figuring out what does and what doesn’t go in the blue bin.

With recycling markets so depressed these days, it is more important than ever to only recycle items that can be turned into new products.

When there are too many things in the blue bin that don’t belong, known in the industry as contaminants, OCRRA gets less money when they sell them to end users, or all of it ends up getting thrown out.

“I think everybody is trying their best. It can be difficult at the holiday times. There’s a lot going on. We ask just do your best,” says OCRAA Public Information Officer Kristen Lawton.

When it comes to wrapping paper, the plain stuff can absolutely be recycled. Any wrapping paper made of foil, is metallic, or has glitter on it, should be thrown out.

Holiday lights can be recycled but DO NOT put them in your blue bin. Lawton says you should be able to take them back to the big home improvement stores that usually hold a “take back” event in November with a coupon for new lights.

She says you can also take them, fully intact, back to either Bodow Recycling on Park Street in Syracuse or Bruin Recycling on Vine Street in Liverpool.

With holiday cards, Lawton says, “As long as it’s a plain card, it can go in the recycle bin. Any of those other little more festive ones, those should go in the trash.”

Especially those glossy, picture cards on photo paper. After the holidays, they go in the garbage and not the recycle bin.

Cardboard is recyclable, just flatten the boxes and put them in the blue bin, but Lawton cautions to make sure you’re taken out things like air pillows, packing peanuts and receipts.

Click here for more holiday recycling tips from OCRRA.

Digital Extra: What can and can’t be recycled

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