How to recycle Christmas leftovers
Christmas comes with lots of gifts and toys. But what do you do with the mounds of gift boxes, wrapping paper, old electronics and the tree that Christmas leaves behind?
You recycle it.
There are numerous holiday-specific recycling programs available to residents in the tri-state area.
The Philadelphia Streets Department offers a two-week Christmas Tree Recycling Program that gives residents a 'green-friendly' option to drop off trees for recycling at various Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers instead of throwing them out on the curb.
Beginning on Jan. 6, trees can be dropped off at any of the following centers, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
- 3033 South 63rd Street
- Domino Lane and Umbria Street
- State Road and Ashburner Street
All trees must be untied, unwrapped and free of all decorations. The Streets Department program will run through Jan. 18.
The Philadelphia Streets Department also provides residents with lists of other holiday-specific items that can be recycled. The list includes everything from tissue paper and gift tags to greeting cards and envelopes. Holiday party items that can be recycled include plastic soda and water bottles, yogurt containers and deli trays.
Ribbons and bows cannot be recycled and all cardboard boxes should be emptied and flattened before disposing.
Click here for the Streets Department's full list of acceptable holiday recycling items.
Last year, the Department collected 21 tons or nearly 44,000 pounds of Christmas trees for recycling.
A similar Christmas tree recycling program started in Delaware the day after Christmas.
Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is encouraging Delaware residents to drop-off their Christmas trees to one of several yard waste recycling facilities located throughout the state.
In Delaware, trees will be accepted from Dec. 26 through Jan. 25.
“Many Delawareans have been recycling their Christmas trees for many years, and we encourage everyone to establish or continue this eco-friendly tradition,” DNREC’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Section program manager Bill Miller said in a press release.
“Recycling these trees that are a product of nature is a wonderful way of giving back to the environment.”
A complete list of facilities participating in Delaware’s Christmas tree recycling program can be found here.
Many old electronics are also recyclable.
Pennsylvania currently has two drop-off locations, where residents and small businesses can bring old computers, tablets, televisions and other electronic devices to be recycled.
In New Jersey residents have access to electronic drop-off locations in each of the state's 21 counties through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's E-Cycle program.
Also in New Jersey, the Camden County Pollution Control Financing Authority (PCFA) is offering its residents free disposal and recycling of old electronics or 'e-waste'. E-waste can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m and some weekends at the Pennsauken Landfill located at 9600 River Road in Pennsauken.
Delaware also has an electronic goods recycling program with drop-off locations for businesses, schools and residents.
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