Financial Friday: Ways to reduce Christmas waste

Updated: Dec. 25, 2020 at 11:28 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Christmas is a magical time of year, including food, gifts and even trash.

Every December 26th, garbage cans across the country are filled with things that might otherwise have been recycled or repurposed.

In fact, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans pile up an incredible 25 percent more trash than they do during any other part of the year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

WAFF spoke to LeJuan George, Senior Business Development Officer at Redstone Federal Credit Union.

He offered these tips to help you recycle Christmas, and reduce your carbon footprint:

• Real Christmas trees can be recycled and turned into wood chippings. Remember to remove all tinsel and decorations. Artificial trees aren’t recyclable, but you can donate them to a charity.

• Cards: Most are paper-based and can be recycled in your home recycling bin.

• Lights: They don’t work anymore? Don’t throw them out. Christmas lights are made of copper, glass, and plastic – valuable materials. Find out where you can take them and you may earn a few dollars or even recycle them so they don’t end up in a landfill.

• Wrapping paper and bows: Some recycling centers won’t take these if they have metallic or glitter on them. Try reusing them next year.

• Cardboard boxes. Remove tape, plastic inserts, glitter and break them down. Now, you are good to go.

Finally, if you live in Madison County, Operation Green Team in Huntsville is having a recycling day coming up in January. You can drop off Cardboard boxes, electronics, and real Christmas trees.

That is happening on January 9th from 8 a.m. -1 p.m. at Joe Davis and also in Madison at Madison City Stadium. Christmas lights will be accepted too.

This extra step will keep them from going into the landfill.

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