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Think Twice Before You Toss Your Holiday Items

Wonder what you can and cannot recycle this holiday season?

Wonder What’s Recyclable vs.Trash? We Can Help

‘Tis the season for decorations, gift exchanges and family gatherings.  And it’s also the season for cardboard, wrapping paper, bows and lights. It can be difficult to determine what to recycle, trash or reuse. We can help you determine where things should go.

Recycle
catalogues, boxes, gift bags, cards, photos and wrapping paper in your Curb It! cart.

Reuse
your ribbons, bows, garland, and plastic shopping bags.Otherwise, they belong in the garbage.

Trash your Styrofoam, plastic packaging, disposable cups, plates and silverware.  

There are many more items you can recycle but do NOT belong in your recycling cart. Review our recycling and disposal guide to learn how to recycle items such as:

Christmas Trees
Computers
Cooking Oil
Electronics
Christmas Lights

For more information about safe, smart disposal and recycling options, visit www.WhereItShouldGo.com or call 515.244.0021.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lorrie Hanson December 07, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Great news! In Ames and Story County, you don't have to think twice -- everything listed above except for Christmas trees and cooking oil can be put right in your regular garbage! Your garbage hauler will bring it here to us at the City of Ames' Arnold O. Chantland Resource Recovery Plant at 110 Center Avenue, and we'll recycle up to 75%, using most of it as fuel at the power plant, creating electricity for Ames! Our trash in Ames and Story County is Smart Trash -- it has a job and goes to work for us right away. Computers, electronics, and Christmas lights are shredded, and some of the plastic will make it to the power plant as fuel, and the metals will all be reclaimed for sale. Catalogues, boxes, gift bags, cards, photos and wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, garland, and plastic shopping bags, styrofoam, plastic pckaging, disposable cups, plates and silverware will all be used as fuel to make our electricity. Smart Trash -- it's the only way to go! If you're interested in touring our facility and finding out just what happens to your garbage, give us a call and we'll get you set up! Lorrie Hanson, Secretary I City of Ames Arnold O. Chantland Resource Recovery System 515.239.5137 main| 877.639.5661 toll free| 515.239.5490 fax lhanson@city.ames.ia.us|110 Center Avenue | Ames, IA 50010 www.CityofAmes.org | ~ Caring People ~ Quality Programs ~ Exceptional Service ~
Maria Houser Conzemius December 11, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I just called Jennifer Jordan, the Iowa City recycling coordinator, and she reaffirmed that yes, we can recycle cardboard boxes, but no, most or all wrapping paper is unacceptable, especially wrapping paper with metallic fibers in it, which screws up the machine for making recycled paper. Also, shiny, coated wrapping paper is bad because of the coating. Tissue paper should be all right but isn't, because tissue paper has such short fibers in it that it falls out of the machine as sludge.
Stephen Schmidt December 11, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Thanks for sharing that Maria, good info for us here.
Metro Waste Authority December 12, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Metro Waste Authority thanks you for your interest and applauds your recycling efforts. What is and what is not acceptable for recycling will vary somewhat from program to program based on what the contracted recycling facility is currently taking in. Metro Waste Authority partners with Greenstar Recycling in the Des Moines Metro Area and offers "Curb It!" - a curbside, single-stream recycling program. If you have questions about safe, smart recycling and disposal options, please visit our website at www.WhereItShouldGo.com or call 515.244.0021.

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