Reminder: Recycle Those Catalogs
and Holiday Items
HARTFORD, Conn. – Forget what Irving Berlin wrote about a white Christmas. Connecticut’s recycling leader, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, is encouraging everyone to keep the holidays green.
There are lots of holiday-related items that are recyclable, starting with what’s already appearing in mailboxes. According to Earth911.com, “each year 19 billion catalogs are mailed to American consumers.” In the 41 cities and towns that recycle with CRRA, as well as just about every other community in the state, catalogs can be recycled along with newspapers, junk mail, magazines and computer paper.
In addition to catalogs, here are some other dos and don’ts to make your holidays as green as can be:
- Corrugated cardboard – items ordered by mail or online are usually shipped in corrugated boxes. These boxes should be recycled.
- Greeting cards, envelopes and wrapping paper – but only those that have no foil or plastic coating, and no photo cards or cards that play music or other sound. If you want to do something greener, buy recycled-content paper products. Ribbons and bows can’t be recycled, but can be re-used.
- Gift boxes – boxboard (such as shoe boxes, cereal boxes and cracker boxes) and other types of cardboard should be recycled, but not if they’re coated with foil or plastic.
- Paper shopping bags – recycle or re-use them. If your community hasn’t switched to single-stream recycling, these bags are also great for packing newspapers, catalogs and other types of mixed paper.
- Plastic bags – please keep them out of the recycling bins and barrels. Many retailers will take them back.
- Glass – bottles and jars should be recycled. Light bulbs, mirrors, drinking glasses and window panes must be kept out of the recycling bins and barrels.
- Lights – if you’re replacing your old decorative lights with new LED (light-emitting diode) light sets, the old light sets are recyclable electronics and must be kept out of the trash and your recycling bin. Call your town hall or check with the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection for opportunities to recycle these and other electronics.
- Trees, wreaths, garlands – if they’re made out of trees and shrubs, they should be composted. If you don’t have your own outdoor composting bin, many cities and towns will collect them after the holidays. Call your city or town to find out. If they’re artificial, save them for next year.
- Foam packing peanuts – these do not go in the recycling bin or barrel. The Plastic Loose Fill Council has set up the Peanut Hotline (800-828-2214) that can connect you to over 1,500 collection points in the United States, including eight in Connecticut.
More information is available online, both from CRRA and DEEP.
The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority is a quasi-public agency whose mission is to work for – and in – the best interests of the municipalities of the state of Connecticut. CRRA’s board of directors and management team develop and implement environmentally sound solutions and best practices for solid waste disposal and recycling management on behalf of municipalities. CRRA serves 75 Connecticut cities and towns. CRRA also runs award-winning sustainability education programs through the CRRA Trash Museum in Hartford. For more information about CRRA and its activities, visit http://www.crra.org. Computer users can also discuss CRRA on its blog, http://crra-blog.blogspot.com and follow CRRA on Twitter @CRRA.
Paul Nonnenmacher, Director of Public Affairs