Safety Tip of the Week: Recycling during the holidays

Reuse Reduce Recycle message in green lettering

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about recycling during the holidays. 

During the holidays people toss away more material than at any other time of the year.

Newspapers get thicker due to robust printed advertising and numerous inserts. Mailboxes become stuffed with flyers, catalogs, offers and greeting cards. Package delivery services are busy dropping off boxes all over town. The results are more waste and more recyclables.

Ways to Reduce the Amount of Trash You Create

Reduce

Cut down on the amount of non-recyclable materials you throw out to help the planet.
What’s a good way to do this?

1. Try to reduce the amount of packaging you purchase by buying products in bulk.

2. Have any paper statements that are normally mailed to you – such as bills, financial statements, newsletters, holiday catalogs etc. emailed to you instead.

  • To eliminate credit card promotional mailings, call 1-888- 567-8688 (that’s 888-5OPT- OUT) or visit http://www.optoutprescreen.com.
  • Remove your name from mailing lists at http://www.dmachoice.org. It can
    take up to 90 days for the flow to stop since many mailings are already in
    print or production.
  • More options to cut down on unwanted material is available here:
    http://ecocycle.org/junkmail.

3. Buy products that are packaged in cardboard or paper board instead of Styrofoam.

4. Try to avoid disposable items such as paper plates, cups, and utensils.

5. When wrapping presents, opt for reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper – or maybe even reuse wrapping paper.

Composting is another way to reduce trash

Composting is the simple step of setting aside your fruit peals and pits along with other
food waste that does not contain oils or meat and then putting it into a compost pile. This will not only create a much cleaner smelling kitchen but also produce great nutrients for your garden.

Reuse

One of the most effective ways to help us to bring your own reusable bag to purchase
groceries. If you forget, insist on paper, and pack as many goods in one bag as possible, without double bagging.

Donate old toys and clothing to a thrift store before you buy more. Even if the clothes can no longer be worn, thrift stores will generally sell them to textile recyclers.

Consider gift bags or baskets or a reusable bag, all of which can be used year after year, instead of wrapping paper.

Rechargeable batteries are a gift that keeps those holiday toys and gadgets running. They greatly reduce the number of batteries thrown into the landfill.

Recycle

Food for thought: Thirteen percent of landfill waste is food and an estimated 36 million tons of food waste went to U.S. landfills in 2015. This holiday season, buy only what you need, share extra food and plan to use leftovers.

Responsibly e-cycle your old technology. Many nonprofits will accept working cell phones and computers.

Visit http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/solidwaste/recycling/recycling-home.htm available at Thurston County Public Works solid waste programs for more details.