Ways to recycle your holiday clutter

Posted December 26, 2020 8:03 p.m. EST

— This time of year your trash bin is probably full of wrapping paper, Christmas dinner left-overs and lots of boxes.

Local experts say there are other places those cardboard boxes can go instead of the landfill.

"Around the holidays in particular, we see a huge influx of packaging that goes into the waste stream," explained Dr. Bryan Staley, a North Carolina State University researcher.

The coronavirus pandemic has created an explosion of packaging boxes and deliveries from Amazon, UPS and FedEx, and when you add in the holidays, landfills are busy places.

Staley has teamed up with Environmental Research and Education to come up with solutions and options over the landfill.

"One of the biggest challenges is getting people to make the right choice, to recycle right and to put things that are not recyclable into the right trash bins."

No-gos for recycling include: bows and anything that could get tangled in recycling machines, plastic wrappers, plastic bags and heavy-duty wrapping paper.

"What we consider 'tanglers' would be the ribbon that you find on presents, that should not be recycled, or Christmas lights," said Staley.

He added that he's here to try and remind people of the option they have and the ways to help the community we live in.

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