Recycling Tips: The Holiday Aftermath

Categories: Garbage & Recycling

The next couple of weeks will be filled with sounds of holiday cheer, the chill from the winter air, and sights of twinkling lights. But how do you get rid of the extra waste from the celebrations? We have you covered with a list of the most common holiday items and how to get rid of them.

Holiday Waste:
If you have too much waste to fit in your garbage and recycling carts, our team will be providing extra trucks to help you dispose of your holiday items. From December 21-24 and 28-31, extra garbage and recycling trucks will be stationed at the Residential Recycling Center. Stop by and dump your extra waste in the appropriate truck. Be sure not to bag your recyclables! The Residential Recycling Center will be open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Residential Recycling will be closed on December 25, 27, and January 1, 3.

Holiday Decorations:
Real Christmas Trees

  • Getting rid of your real Christmas tree is simple! Place it out on the curb on the same day as your garbage pickup from January 4-31, and we will dispose of it for you.

Artificial Christmas Trees

  • Did you get a new Christmas tree this year but don’t have the heart to throw out your old one? Consider donating it to a school, nursing home, or charity. Another way to repurpose your artificial tree is by cutting the best limbs and creating wreaths, garlands, and other home decorations.

Holiday Lights

  • Do you have strands of lights that no longer work? Or are you swapping out for energy-saving LED lights? Even though old holiday lights are accepted in the garbage, there are recycling options. Companies like Holiday LEDS Recycling and Christmas Light Source offer coupons or discounts if you ship your old lights to them to recycle!


Ornaments can be tricky to get rid of. Most glass and metal ornaments are not able to be recycled and must be placed in your garbage cart. However, all paper ornaments can be placed in your recycling cart. If your ornaments aren’t broken, they can be donated to thrift shops, nursing homes, or charities for others to enjoy.

Holiday Gifts:
Paper Products

  • Cards are wonderful to receive, but you may not want to keep them all after the holidays. Consider creating decorations with them or placing them in your recycling cart for curbside collection.

Holiday Containers

  • Metal popcorn tins, unique gift boxes, and gift bags don’t need to be thrown out after one use. Save these containers to help you save money and make your gift wrapping easy next year!

Electronics and Batteries

  • It’s always exciting to upgrade your electronics, but what do you do with your old gadgets? Electronics are great to pass on to family or friends. Companies like Batteries Plus will also help you recycle your gadgets or old batteries.

Winter Accessories:
Holiday socks, ugly sweaters, and old hats, mittens, and winter coats are great to donate to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. These items can also be placed in your garbage cart for curbside collection.

For more garbage and recycling resources, visit our recycling search tool and our Garbage and Recycling webpage.

Share Article


Is there a pothole that you would like to see fixed? Or a city tree that needs to be trimmed?


Get important updates on city programs, community projects, special alerts that may affect your daily routine.