October 23rd, 2020

Christmas wrap is not recyclable

By Kalinowski, Tim on December 21, 2019.

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald


City of Lethbridge Waste and Recycling Services is reminding residents that while Christmas may be a joyous time of year, it is also an occasion which generates abundant waste destined for the City landfill.

“The holidays are a really wonderful time with lots of festivities going on, but it’s also our second-highest time for waste (after spring cleaning),” says Waste and Recycling Services outreach assistant Raquel Burston. “In December, Lethbridge accumulates a lot of waste during those holidays.”

Burston suggests resident consider giving gifts which do not require abundant amounts of Christmas wrapping paper as one way to reduce that waste haul.

“Something to remember is we can’t the put the wrapping paper in our blue carts. Unfortunately, it can’t be recycled,” she says.

Christmas paper is actually considered mixed material because of its use of glitter, colour or composites, Burston explains, and she suggests those still wanting to wrap their gifts consider using alternative materials which are recyclable or materials which are more easily compostable instead.

Similarly, natural Christmas trees add to the local waste burden over the holidays, says Burston, and that’s why being prepared to take advantage of the City’s tree recycling program is so important.

“You need to make sure your Christmas tree is placed wherever your garbage is usually picked up,” she explains. “And it needs to be there by 7 a.m. on Jan. 11. So make sure to have it out there and all the lights and decorations, tinsel, all of that is gone. We want those trees to be bare so when our community youth groups come around they can then pick those trees up.”

This year local Girl Guides and Pathfinders will be given an honourarium to pick up the discarded Christmas trees and bring them to mulching yards within the city. If residents miss that Jan. 11 deadline, says Burston, they will still have the option to call 311 for pick up between Jan. 13-17.

After that, residents will either have to transport the trees to the Waste and Recycling Centre themselves or call 311 to take advantage of City’s large item pickup service. In either case, says Burston, the trees will not be recycled and will be disposed of in the landfill instead.

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