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Holiday Recycling Tips

Americans produce 25% more waste—an additional 5 million tons of waste—between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It’s important for all of us to be conscious of our purchases and gift wrapping selections this holiday season. 

Consider the following green holiday tips to reduce your impact this holiday season:

  • Avoid wrapping gifts in materials that are not recyclable in the City of Durango’s recycling program. These materials include: plastic coated wrapping paper, metallic wrapping paper, tyvek envelopes or other tyvek packaging materials. If these items are placed in the recycling bins they will contaminate the recycling process.  

Consider purchasing recycled gift wrap.  Look for recycled wrapping paper with the highest post-consumer content available.  For an even “greener” holiday season: consider non-traditional gift wrapping—wrap gifts in reusable containers (e.g., fabric or boxes) or reuse gift wrap, ribbons, bows, boxes, and bags from a prior holiday season. 

  • Remove all packaging material from cardboard boxes prior to recycling. The City of Durango is not able to recycle Styrofoam peanuts or other non-recyclable packaging materials.   

If you receive Styrofoam peanuts or other non-recyclable packaging material during the holidays, contact your local packaging store to see if they are interested in reusing the material.  For an even “greener” holiday season: instead of using Styrofoam peanuts, consider using biodegradable packing peanuts or newspaper when shipping holiday packages.

  • Purchase rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts.  Approximately 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buying rechargeable batteries and battery chargers to accompany electronic gifts reduces the amount of potentially harmful material that is transported to the landfill. Plus, rechargeable batteries save money in the long-run.

Look for the most energy efficient electronic gifts that minimize battery use and recharge requirements.  For an even “greener” holiday season: choose solar powered electronics instead of battery powered products.