Recycling the holidays, what's in and what's out

1:03 PM, Dec 28, 2010   |    comments
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  • Recycling the holidays, what's in and what's out
  • Recycling the holidays, what's in and what's out
  • Recycling the holidays, what's in and what's out

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. -- Along with more snow, we also have more trash this time of year.

Fortunately, a good part of post-holiday waste can be recycled.

Gene Darveaux drives truck for Randy's Environmental Services. As he picked up trash in Brooklyn Park on Monday he said most people recycle what they can.  He said, "Yeah, they're pretty good for the most part."

It's not just the boxes gifts come in that can be recycled.

At Randy's Recycle Center, a team of employees sort through the remains of all holiday cheer.

Deb Gatz, in charge of customer service for Randy's said, "With all the entertaining, there's more tin, there's more glass.  So people do have a larger amount of recyclables to put to the curb."

Recycling during the holidays may seem easy.  Just transfer all the gift wrap from under the tree and throw it in the recycle bin.

But gift wrap is something they actually don't want to see at Randy's Recycle Center.

Gatz said, "Christmas wrapping paper is really a quality of paper that is not desired by our recycle facility."

But toy packaging made of paper they do take as long as it is separated from everything it comes with.

Gatz said, "A resident does need to pull away the twist ties, pull away the plastic parts, pull away the Styrofoam and get down to the paper."

If those things are still attached, all of it will simply be thrown in the trash.

Randy's does recycle Christmas lights.  Gatz said, "Anything we can keep out of the trash stream benefits all the way around."

Lights collected by Randy's are passed on to the Recycling Association of Minnesota. People with disabilities are then employed to break the lights down into reusable components.

With all the waste that comes with the holidays, it's nice to know much of it can be re-used.

Gatz said, "When there's such an abundance of it, I think people are more apt to recycle.  I think the message is just to keep that going throughout the whole year."

Many cities recycle Christmas trees during the first couple weeks of January.  Those trees are brought to compost sites.  Check with your city for details.

Randy's is the only waste service picking up broken Christmas lights.  But lights can be dropped off over 300 locations including Ace Hardware Stores.  Click here for more locations.

If you have an old electronic device, Best Buy has a program called e-cycle that recycles many of them for free.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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