Happy Holidays! It’s the most wonderful time of the year with decorations, celebrations and of course, cleanup! Industry experts estimate that the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day which equates to around one million extra tons of garbage per week. This year, take a few extra steps to reduce that amount!

Some Holiday Recycling Essentials
The holiday shopping season is in full swing. Online shopping has become an easy option for gift giving (and for those looking for a little something for themselves) with 79% of Americans shopping online. This increase in online shopping has led to an increase in corrugated cardboard shipping boxes. These boxes are considered high value recyclables. While local governments pay for the recycling of materials like plastics, glass and metal cans, cardboard materials are considered high value because they can be sold to recyclers which then offsets recycling costs. As such, keep cardboard boxes separate from your recycling bin.

Prior to placing cardboard boxes curbside, please remember to remove any packing materials that are included in the shipments to protect the contents during shipping. Breaking down your boxes will not only save space but will also keep them from blowing around on a windy day. Also, remember to remove shipping labels from boxes in order to help protect against identity theft. Packing tape can remain on your boxes- it does not interfere with the recycling process.

All other recyclables should be placed in your recycling bin. Take a moment to rinse them to make sure that they are free from any remaining food particles. Remove caps from bottles - these are not recyclable and can be placed in the trash. Also, recyclables should not be placed in plastic bags - these can clog up the recycling system.

Commingled recycling containers should contain only:

  • Plastics (#1 and #2)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Aluminum and tin cans
  • Mixed paper including newspaper, magazines, office paper, “junk” mail, and chipboard boxes (cereal/gift boxes).

Some municipalities may change your garbage or recycling schedule due to the holidays. Check the Recycle Coach App for any schedule change updates.

Tis the Season to Reduce!
Industry experts estimate that annually, Americans discard an estimated 15 million used Christmas trees, $11 billion worth of packing material and 38,000 miles of ribbon. Thrown in with household trash, these materials will head to a landfill and begin the long process of decomposition.

Landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions caused by humans in the United States. In addition to methane, landfills produce other greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and water vapor. Methane, however, has an impact on climate change more than 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.

How can you help? We’re glad you asked!

  • Remember to bring your reusable shopping bag with you on your next shopping trip! While you’re at it, pick up a few reusable shopping bags to package gifts in - it will be the gift that keeps on giving.
  • Planning a party? Consider Earth-friendly re-usable materials such as plates, cutlery and glassware which can be washed and re-used. If using disposable materials, remember that these items are not recyclable and should be disposed of in the trash.
  • 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold in the United States annually. Consider an e-card to send your greetings without adding to landfills!
  • Laminated and glossy wrapping paper is not recyclable, nor are ribbons. These items should be placed with your regular garbage. Remember, reusable shopping bags are not only sturdy, but they are useful every day!
  • Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and will be picked up by your municipality curbside. Check the Recycle Coach App for schedules and pickup procedures.

As you celebrate this holiday season, remember to take a few minutes to keep the environment in mind - it will be a lasting impact! On behalf of the Commissioners and staff of the Hudson County Improvement Authority, we wish you a Happy Holiday and safe & Happy New Year!


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