As children and the young at heart tear the wrapping off presents under the Christmas tree, the shreds of paper, bows, bags, boxes and tissue paper must go somewhere.
When appropriate, local recycling officials encourage people to put as much as possible into the big blue bins.
“Anything with paper in the name – like packaging paper or wrapping paper – is good,” said Steven Gimpel, operations specialist for Waste Management’s Spokane Materials and Recycling Technology Center.
The one exception to that rule is tissue paper – the material is such low quality that it is of little use to recyclers, he said.
Gimpel recommends that people throw other common holiday materials in the garbage, including gift bags, twine, ribbon, bows, cellophane wrap, bubble wrap, tinsel, Christmas lights, scrap metal, processed plastic such as the kind used in action figures, fake Christmas trees, Styrofoam and packing peanuts.
The recycling facility has already seen an uptick in items during the holiday season, Gimpel said. He expects to process 10 percent more recyclables this time of year.
Crews will not pick up garbage or recycling on Christmas or New Year’s Day, according to the city. Collection will resume the day following each of the holidays, with Friday pickup taking place on Saturday.