Holiday Recycling and Reuse
Broken, Tangled or Old Holiday Lights
Please do not place them in your recycling cart; they will tangle on sorting machinery at the recycling facility and create a hazard for workers. Instead, recycle them at Earth Friendly Recycling, E H Metal Recycling and at the Lacamas Lake Lowes.
Spread cheer. Many local thrift stores will accept lights that are in good condition. See Recycling A-Z for more information.
Many options exist for recycling. In all cases, please remove tinsel, lights, ornaments, wire, stands and other materials that are not part of the tree.
- Boy Scouts often do a curbside tree collection in early January. Watch for a door-hanger providing event details.
- Curbside yard debris subscribers can cut down their Christmas tree to fit in their yard debris cart. If the cart is already full, subscribers can place their Christmas tree alongside their cart and have it collected as a yard debris extra for an additional fee (approx. $3) in the City of Vancouver.
- Garbage collectors will pick up flocked or artificial trees, up to 6 feet tall, for a fee of $6.50 in the City of Vancouver. Rates vary in other parts of Clark County.
- Christmas trees can also be recycled for a fee at the transfer stations, H & H Wood Recyclers, City Bark and McFarlane’s Bark. Prices vary, but they are generally in the $1 to $5 range.
Dismayed by a mailbox full of unwanted catalogs? Sign on to www.CatalogChoice.org and opt out of the ones you don’t want to receive. Basic opt out service is free – additional features are available for a fee.
Vancouver residents have a convenient recycling option for old alkaline, nickel cadmium (NiCad) and lithium household batteries; flashlight, hearing aid and rechargeable batteries. Just place them in a sealable clear plastic bag, and place the bag on top of your recycling roll cart. Consider buying rechargeable batteries and a charger to accompany your electronic gifts to reduce the number of batteries that have to be discarded.
Sure, that deep-fried turkey was moist and tasty. But what do you do with the oil now? Recycle it! Columbia Resource Company will accept up to five gallons of cooking oil per day per customer at their Central Transfer and Recycling and West Van Material Recovery Centers during regular hours of operation. The used cooking oil is recycled.
Computers and Electronics
Recycle TVs, computers, monitors, laptops, tablets, e-readers and portable DVD players for FREE through E-Cycle Washington. Households, small businesses, schools & school districts, small governments, special purpose districts and charities can recycle electronic products free of charge using this program. Find a recycling drop off location for your e-waste at www.ecyclewashington.org.
Packing peanuts are often accepted for reuse by local mailing businesses.
Wrapping and Packaging
Cardboard boxes, printed gift wrapping paper, mailing tubes and paper bags that cannot be used again next year may be flattened and placed in your blue recycling cart. Please do not include ribbons, bows, yarn, foil-coated wrapping, bubble wrap, plastic bags or foam packing. You can reduce the amount of paper that is discarded by utilizing reusable gift bags made of heavy paper or fabric or by making the wrapping part of the gift. Think tablecloths, towels, storage containers, etc.
Learn More! Additional resources for Reducing, Reusing & Recycling
Holiday Waste – Did you know that in the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons!
Green Holiday – Ideas from King County Eco-Consumer
Simplify the Holidays – Ideas from the Center for New American Dream