Would you like to reduce your waste this Christmas? Here are some suggestions for doing so:
- Bring reusable bags when you do your Christmas shopping. For larger items, don't use a bag at all. Just bring the item home in its box.
- Avoid purchasing products with packaging that is not accepted in the Blue Box Recycling Program, such as styrofoam packing peanuts.
- Choose products made from recycled, post-consumer material. Five plastic pop bottles can be used to make one adult-sized fleece sweater.
- Send e-cards or postcards instead of traditional Christmas cards to save on paper.
- Buy gifts with a "green touch": a backyard composter, lunch box with re-useable containers, rechargeable batteries, or certified compostable bags for your green cart.
- Consider using alternatives to wrapping paper. Try using newspapers, catalogues or magazines.
- Wrap gifts in fabric, dish towels, scarves or bandanas, which can be saved and reused next year.
- Use as little wrapping paper as possible. Loop a string around gift boxes to measure the size of the box, and then lay the string out on the wrapping paper to determine exactly how much is needed.
- Cut down on waste at your holiday party. Use your best dishes, glassware and cloth napkins. If you have to use disposable products, buy recyclable or compostable products accepted in the Blue Box or Green Cart Organics Programs. Paper plates, cups and napkins should be placed in certified compostable bags within your green cart. Foam plates should be rinsed and placed in your Blue Box.
- Gift boxes, gift bags, non-metallic wrapping paper, and Christmas cards are all recyclable and should be placed in your Blue Box.
- Tissue wrapping paper, serviettes, disposable paper cups and plates are not recyclable in the Blue Box and should be placed in certified compostable bags within your Green Cart. The plastic lid from the paper cup can be placed in the Blue Box.
- Do not bag your mixed blue box recyclables in clear plastic bags or other bags (i.e. grocery bags). Place items loosely in your Blue Box. Collection crews will not collect these bags.
- For surplus, use a cardboard box for the additional recyclables or boxes similar in size to a City Blue Box. Make sure that the boxes are placed out beside your Blue Box.
- Wooden orange crates, foil, plastic or cloth gift wrap, ribbons and bows, foil gift bags, foam packaging peanuts and Christmas lights do not belong in the Blue Box or Green Cart. Please reuse or dispose of them in your household garbage.
- Hard plastic packaging without a number on it (e.g. used to hold toys in a cardboard box) are not recyclable. Please place this plastic in the garbage.
- When you just can't eat another bite of turkey, place your holiday food scraps in certified compostable bags within your Green Cart.
- Save wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons and bows to reuse next year.
- Save your used Christmas cards to make small gift boxes for next year's presents.
- Reuse wooden orange crates instead of throwing them out in your household garbage. Crates can be reused as a serving tray for drinks and snacks, or as a holder for Christmas ribbons, bows and gift tags.
- Reuse plastic tubs, such as ice cream, margarine, yogurt and sour cream containers for storing holiday leftovers instead of buying new storage containers.
- Natural Christmas trees will be collected and composted as part of the year-round leaf and yard trimmings collection. Please remove all decorations, tinsel and lights. Place your tree at your curb by 7 a.m. on your regular collection day. Christmas trees wrapped in plastic will not be collected.
- Donate unwanted items to a charity, such as Salvation Army, Value Village, Diabetes Clothesline, or Jarrett Centre.
Green Holiday Tips (836 kb pdf)