Environmentalists: Please recycle this holiday season

Posted: Updated:
RANDOLPH -

Environmentalists are reminding New Jersey residents about the importance of recycling this holiday season.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, over 1 million tons of garbage is generated nationwide according to the Morris County Recycling Department. Most of the trash is from cardboard boxes that gifts are shipped in.

“Instead of getting a box with four items, we get four boxes with one item,” says Chris Vidal who works for the Morris County Recycling Department.

New Jersey residents may want to consider condensing the packages. Many companies offer the option to ship multiple items in one package.

Cardboard boxes are recyclable, but many towns will ask residents to break them down before putting them out on the curb. Most wrapping paper is also recyclable as well. Vidal also suggests reusing wrapping paper.

“As much fun as it is to throw it over your shoulder, make an effort to reuse it,” she says.

Another useful tip: Just because an item has a recycling symbol on it, doesn’t mean that you can leave it out on the curb with other recyclables. A lot of packing materials, like bubble wrap or other plastics, is not recyclable at the curb.

"Maybe you have a business near you that does a lot of shipping, the UPS store or such. They may actually want these things for reuse but if you don’t have a reuse option, the grocery stores will take these,” says Liz Sweedy, who also works for the Morris County Recycling Department.

It is also suggested to use real plates and cups instead of paper, plastic or Styrofoam ones to reduce trash.

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