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Tips to recycling holiday waste | News

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Tips to recycling holiday waste
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SACRAMENTO - The Regional Recycling Group says more residential waste is created during the holiday season than at any other time of the year, so residents in the Sacramento County area are urged to to recycle as much as possible.

Most residents can shed a few pounds by recycling all of their holiday waste paper such as greeting cards, gift boxes and wrapping paper, in their curbside mixed recycling program. Phone books and calendars are also accepted in the mixed recycling container.

"The amount of garbage sent to the landfill increases dramatically during the holiday season," said Doug Ebanks of Sacramento County's Department of Waste Management and Recycling. "We can change the traditional holiday habit of tearing open presents and throwing away wrapping paper and cardboard. We can recover these materials if residents use their curbside recycling program."

All mixed paper -- holiday gift wrap, cardboard, advertising mail, catalogs, paper boxes, newspapers, computer paper, old calendars and other "clean" household paper -- can be recycled in most curbside recycling programs. The paper should be placed in the proper recycling container and set out on the curb for regular scheduled pick-up days. For those who don't have curbside programs, there are many drop-off sites located at grocery stores, schools and non-profit organizations that will accept a variety of items.

The number of empty bottles and cans also soars during the holidays.

"Tons of empty beverage containers are also generated during this time of year," said Eubanks." These cans, glasses and plastic bottles should also be recycled."

According to the California Department of Resources Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle), about 100 million plastic waterbottles will end up in the trash statewide during the holiday season. If recycled, those water bottles could be used to make 48,000 sweaters, or 220,000 square feet of carpeting.

CalRecycle also reports Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of the year. Local governments urge residents to reduce, reuse and recycle during the holiday season and continue in the new year.

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