Common Holiday Items To Recycle

On average Americans create up to 25% more rubbish during the holiday season than at any other time during the year! To play your part in the conservation of our planet, and reduce your footprint, it’s important to recycle as many unused, waste holiday items as possible.  

What sort of items can you recycle? Here are some of common ones to consider once the holiday season comes to a close.  


Christmas Decorations 

All those hanging balls, holly, wreaths and other extravagant decorations eventually die, and it’s possible for you to give them a respectable, recycled burial when their time of passing comes. Consider collecting and recycling your Christmas decorations at your local recycling depot. Things like: 

  • Christmas trees: Both artificial and real trees. 
  • Christmas lights. 
  • Decorations.  
  • Ornaments. 

Better yet, store them in your basement for reuse next year. You’ll save money on the cost of buying replacement decorations and reduce your environmental impact significantly more than recycling, since even recycling requires additional energy and resources. 


Wrapping Paper, Boxes, And Packaging 

Almost all presents and gifts exchanged during the holiday season come delivered in some sort of wrapping product. Sure, it adds a level of mystery and suspense to the gift-giving experience, but it adds a significant amount of waste to landfill – unless you recycle of course!  

If you receive any of the following items during the holiday season, don’t throw them away: 


  • Bubble wrap and plastic bags 
  • Cardboard boxes 
  • Cards and envelopes 
  • Foam packaging 
  • Paper and gift bags 
  • Plastic packaging 
  • Ribbon and bows 
  • Tissue paper 
  • Wrapping paper 


Your local recycling depot is able to take these items and reuse or repurpose them to create an array of new products and packaging for next holiday season. Again, consider keeping useful and undamaged packaging for reuse next year to have the biggest impact. 


Old Gifts 

Yes, grandma has a gift (excuse the pun!) for giving presents that are, at times, less-than useful. Fear not, as these useless old gifts that end up collecting dust in a cupboard can be recycled as well. Consider taking old toys and miscellaneous “junk” to a thrift shop. You never know who might find a use for the stuff you don’t want, so it’s a great idea to at least give someone an option to reuse it. It’ll give the charity behind the scenes a means for donation collection as well.  

If you can’t even give the stuff away, which can happen in some cases (thanks for the National Geographic stuffy Nan!), then your next option is to seek out a recycling station that accepts your gifts.  



Head to any modern toy hop and you’ll be reminded just how far electronics and technology reach into our lives. All the electronic toys on the shelf require batteries, and for the most part, these batteries are the disposable, non-rechargeable type. Many of us are accustomed to throwing your old batteries in the trash, but there are better options than sending the hazardous chemicals batteries contain to landfill. All recycling depots are well equipped to recycle batteries of all shapes and sizes. Check at your local grocery or department store too, as an increasing number of companies are beginning to embrace battery recycling and offer convenient disposal locations for their customers. No matter how big or small, be sure to take all the used batteries from those holiday toys to be recycled, and reduce the increasing amount of chemicals seeping into the ground through landfills.  

There are many common holiday items you can consider recycling, and the list above is by no means exhaustive. Become a green advocate next holiday season and collect unwanted gifts, packaging, decorations and expired batteries and tidy up your home at the same time as keeping our environment smiling. 


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