I’ve always wondered what can be recycled when we’re sitting around the tree unwrapping presents on Christmas. Can you recycle this wrapping paper? What about tissue paper? With the holiday around the corner, I decided to find out what exactly can be placed in the recycling cart and what needs to go into the trash.
Republic Services is responsible for picking up recyclable items in Mansfield, Texas, as well as more than 2,700 municipalities nationwide. They helped answer these questions and more. Even though Republic might not serve your Lone Star community, the following rules are great guidelines for you to follow.
The First Rule of Card and Wrapping Paper Recycling
Before we proceed, there is a hard and fast directive about what absolutely cannot go into the recycling bin:
Cards or wrapping paper with any amount of plastic, foil, glitter, strings or wire need to go in the trash.
Musical cards need to go in the trash as well, unless you’re willing to remove the battery and plastic housing to put in the trash before recycling what’s left of the card.
When glitter or anything listed above gets put into recycling, it prevents the paper it’s attached to from getting reused.
What Can Be Recycled
- Greeting cards and envelopes that follow the rule
- Plain wrapping paper with no foil or metallic decorations and no tape attached
- Decorative boxes as long as they have no glitter, foil or strings
- Cardboard boxes
Please remember that this is not a complete list of recyclable household items – I’ve only included items that are more prevalent during the holidays.
What Can’t Be Recycled
- Tissue paper
- Foil or metallic wrapping paper
- Ribbon, both cloth and plastic
- Clear plastic wrap or cellophane wrap that can come with a gift basket
- Holiday lights and decorations (this also includes Halloween, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah)
- Extension cords
- Trees, wreaths or needles
If you still have specific questions for your area, contact your city’s environmental services department.