How to reduce holiday waste



Posted on December 22, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 22 at 4:20 PM

PHOENIX -- Americans produce 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day than any other time of the year.

Waste Management spokeswoman Janette Coates shared several tips for reducing, reusing and recycling this holiday season.


1. Avoid disposable packaging. Place wine in a reusable carrier to reduce waste and protect the bottle. Use the wine corks for various craft projects. Place cooking-related gifts in an oven mitt. The mitt doubles as packaging and a gift.

2. Buy small, minimally packaged gifts with big values, like gift cards and event tickets.

3. Package gifts in bags and reuse the bags each year. Tissue paper and bows can also be reused.

4. Look for decorated cardboard boxes that don't require wrapping paper or use recyclable wrapping paper. Recyclable wrapping paper is not always labeled, so look for paper with white backing. Metallic wrapping paper usually is not recyclable.

5. Recycle cardboard packaging from toys and tags from clothing.
6. Consider purchasing environmentally friendly clothing and accessories. Clothing can be made from bamboo or recycled materials.

7. Use reusable plates, cups, utensils and napkins instead of disposable ones. Find dishwasher-safe plates to cut down on hand-washing.

8. Aluminum foil covers and cooking pans are recyclable, as long as they are clean of grease and residue.

9. Use your live Christmas tree for compost, or look for special pick-up services and drop-off sites.