How to Recycle Right This Holiday Season

From Christmas wrapping paper to cardboard gift boxes, here are tips for recycling those items correctly after the holiday.


It’s that time of year again – a time of festive cheer, celebration and overall jubilee – yes, the holidays have officially arrived.

As Rhode Islanders prepare for the height of the holiday season, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) is urging residents to recycle right this season, by following the “Do’s and Don’ts” of holiday recycling. 

“Americans consume more during the holiday season than any other time of the year,” said Sarah Kite, Director of Recycling Services for RIRRC. “From gift packaging to wrapping paper to trees and wreaths, it’s important that we remember to properly prepare these materials for recycling. By doing so, we give these materials a second life once the holidays have passed.” 

With this in mind, RIRRC presents the “Do’s and Don’ts” to recycle right this holiday and in the New Year.

If residents still use small green and blue bins for recycling curbside in their city or town, they can place extra recycling in any container clearly marked “extra recycling.” 

Paper & Cardboard:


  • DO: Recycle gift boxes, gift bags, wrapping paper, tissue paper, holiday cards, envelopes and wrapping paper tubes.
  • DON’T: Recycle foil based (Mylar) wrapping material, picture cards, bows and ribbons.

 Gift Packaging:

  • DO: Recycle “blister packaging” – the often hard-to-open, firm plastic packaging that items such as small toys and consumer electronics come in. Also remember to bring any clear or lightly colored plastic bags and films that stretch back to the grocery, pharmacy, or big-box store with your plastic shopping bags.
  • DON’T: Recycle any Styrofoam packaging. Clean, dry Styrofoam can be dropped off for recycling at KWD, Inc., 582 Great Rd., North Smithfield.

 Christmas Trees and Wreaths:

  • DO: Completely remove all decorations and trimmings from Christmas trees and wreaths. Remove lights, ornaments, metal wiring on wreaths and the tree stand before placing out for curbside collection. Most trees and wreaths are collected by your local municipal Department of Public Works during the week following the Christmas holiday. Check with your local Department of Public Works for more information about collection times.
  • DON’T: Recycle artificial Christmas trees. If you are looking to dispose of your artificial Christmas tree, first consider donating it. If not donated, the tree can be put out for the trash according to your local municipality’s rules for oversize/bulky items. Before doing so, completely remove the lights and any other decorations from the tree. 

Christmas Lights:

  • DO: Consider recycling your lights through www.HolidayLEDS.com.
  • DON’T: Recycle Christmas lights in your bin. They wrap around equipment and cause shut downs in the Materials Recycling Facility. If you are not mailing them in for recycling, please place them in the trash.

RIRRC will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

For more information about recycling during the holidays and the new Recycle Together RI program, visit www.RecycleTogetherRI.org or call 401-942-1430.

lmack34 December 27, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Does anyone know when they're picking up the blue barrels
Dan Tvaroha December 28, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Should have been last week. Check to see if neighbors is still there.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »