Tips for Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling During the Holiday Season
Did you know? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average American household throws away nearly 125 pounds of trash per week. From Thanksgiving to New Year's, Americans discard 25% more trash than normal, or approximately 940 pounds of waste. Roughly 80% of what is discarded during the holidays could be recycled or reused.
Holiday Trash Schedule
If your regular trash collection falls on or after Thanksgiving Day, trash pickup will be delayed one day. There will be no service interruption for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day because these holidays fall on a Sunday. For a list of holidays that affect trash collection, visit WM Holiday Schedule.
Holiday Tree Recycling
Residents can recycle their holiday tree by placing it on the ground next to their carts when they are placed at the curb on their regular trash collection day. Residents can also chop up their tree and place it inside their organics cart container (green lid). The organics cart container lid must be completely closed with all tree pieces fitting inside. Tree recycling will be underway from Monday, December 26 through Friday, January 13. All decorations, tinsel, and the tree stand must be removed. Holiday trees larger than six feet tall must be cut in half to be eligible for pick up. Flocked trees cannot be recycled and must be chopped up and placed inside the trash cart (black lid) or residents may request a bulky item pickup by contacting WM Customer Care at (800) 423-9986.
Bulky Item Pickup for the Holidays
Chino Hills residents may request a bulky item pickup, at no cost, to handle large trash items that may be generated during the holiday season. WM offers three free bulky item pickups per calendar year for up to ten items depending on size (includes bulky, white goods), or 10 bags of yard waste. Additional bulky item pickups are available at a nominal cost. Bulky items that cannot be handled by two persons will not be accepted. Pickups must be requested at least 24-hours in advance of your collection day. Be prepared to list all items when scheduling the pickup. To know what bulky items are acceptable or to schedule your pickup, visit home.wm.com/chino-hills or call WM Customer Care at (800) 423-9986.
Top 7 Sustainability Tips
- Recycle wrapping paper, even the sparkly stuff!
- Don't trash the ribbons and bows, reuse them!
- Recycle paper bags, Reuse or trash laminated bags.
- Put down the pen and paper - email your holiday card.
- Instead of popping the bubble wrap, save and reuse it!
- Remember to separate paper and plastic before you recycle.
- As an alternative to packing material, using shredded paper works just as well.
Save the Environment While Entertaining Your Guests
- Send email invitations, or for more formal occasions, use post-consumer recycled paper
- Minimize food waste by carefully planning your menu
- Use durable, reusable plates, and serving ware when possible
- Make your own refreshments to cut down on excess packaging
*According to the EPA, more food ends up in landfills than any other single item. Only 5% of the nation's food waste is diverted from landfills for composting.
Spread Holiday Cheer Through Thoughtful Gifting
- Consider gifts that are environmentally friendly and sustainable with minimal packaging
- Save used gift wrap, gift bags, ribbons, and bows for reuse
- Repurpose packaging such as foam peanuts and bubble wrap - start your own packing storage box to store these materials for future use
Decorations Can Be Useful After The Holiday Season Too!
- Be resourceful - consider repurposing recycled items like glass bottles and aluminum cans, or discarded household items, like light bulbs, into unique holiday crafts, gifts, and decorations
(Quick tip: Look to Pinterest for creative do-it-yourself craft ideas)
- Consider planting your holiday tree in your yard, or recycle it using the services provided in your community
- If you have a cut tree, consider using it as mulch
- Boxes (gift, shoe, and shipping)
- Wrapping paper (plain or sparkly)
- Tissue paper
- Holiday cards and envelopes (without embellishments)
- Gift bags (paper)
Better to Reuse or Dispose
- Bubble wrap
- Ribbons and bows
- Gift bags (laminated, coated, or dyed)
- Packing peanuts (polystyrene foam)
Important Things To Remember
- Toy packaging made of heavy cardboard is not recyclable unless the cardboard is separated from the plastic
- Sticky gift tags are NOT recyclable by themselves, but they are acceptable if affixed to an envelope or wrapping paper
We encourage families to make recycling a part of their holiday tradition. It's a simple way to make a positive difference in the local environment by diverting items that can be recycled. It can also end up saving your family money by identifying items that can be reused in creative ways.
Check with your local provider to confirm which items can be recycled in your community, especially for holiday collection times or special instructions on Christmas tree recycling.