A beginner’s guide to recycling your post-Christmas trash


SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– After all the gifts are unwrapped, after all the food is eaten, the holidays can leave us with a lot of trash.

“At our landfill, we’re normally receiving anywhere from about 850 tons a day, [and that] can easily go up to about 1,500 tons following Christmas,” said Marketing Development Coordinator for the City of Springfield Ashley Krug.

Krug says it’s important to recycle what you can.

“A cardboard box is a really easy-to-recycle item. Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff that’s packaged inside of it is not,” Krug says, referring to items like bubble-wrap and Styrofoam peanuts.

Another non-recyclable item, one Krug says people often overlook, is shiny wrapping paper.

“If anything is shiny, has a foil or a glitter on it, it can not be recycled,” said Krug.

He says you can, instead, opt for recyclable wrapping paper or even reusable bags.

Household holiday recyclables:
  • Paper – Wrapping paper, tissue paper, greeting cards and paper décor with no foil or glitter accepted.
  • Paper gift boxes and wrapping paper tubes are accepted.
  • Corrugated boxes are accepted.
  • Plastic, glass and aluminum drink containers from your holiday parties.
  • Plastic and metal food containers from your holiday meal prep.

Springfield resident, Mary Cashmore, says she’s always looking for ways to re-use her family’s holiday items.

“When we get presents, we get a lot of bags and I reuse my bags,” said Cashmore.  “I’ll save my bags every year and I’ll recycle them.”

Cashmore says she’s even teaching her three-young-daughters the importance of reusing and recycling.

“I want my world to be clean for them when they get to be my age,” said Cashmore. “I’m hoping that they will get the idea that recycling is good and follow in our footsteps.”

Krug says you can find a complete list of items you can and can’t recycle on the city’s website.

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