Raleigh, N.C. — From wrapping paper, bows and boxes to the Christmas tree, Raleigh residents will accumulate an extra 750 tons of holiday trash this week.
Linda Leighton of Raleigh's solid waste services department hopes people will consider an alternative to the landfill for the excess.
Most holiday garbage is safe for curbside recycling. The city will recycle most wrapping paper, but not foil, tissue paper, or ribbon.
"Keep those ribbons and bows and reuse them for next year," Leighton suggested.
Cardboard boxes can be recycled. Put them out for curbside pickup or save them for a second use.
Even the Christmas tree can have a second life. The city will collect your tree at the curb and recycle it into mulch.
"Please remove everything that's non-organic from the trees," Leighton asked. "That means from head to toe. The stand all the way up to the star on the top."
She suggested ways to ring in the new year with a green resolution as well. "Everybody can do one little thing."
"Show folks where the recycle bin is and where the compost pail is for the excess food," she suggested for party hosts.
"We want residents to think about waste reduction. Waste reduction is much more important than recycling."