JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — It’s the end of another holiday season which means it will soon be time to start taking down the holiday decorations.  

As people start to take down those decorations some may wonder how to properly dispose of them.  

Since about 80% of what is thrown away during the holidays can be recycled, the Department of Natural Resources is encouraging everyone to take time to sort the items that can be recycled.  

Things that can be recycled include:  

  • Holiday lights 
  • Bubble wrap 
  • Cardboard 
  • Wrapping paper 
  • Food containers 

Tips on how to dispose of these items: 

  • Items thrown in the recycling bin should be clean and dry. Many half-filled water or beverage bottles before throwing into bins at holiday gatherings. Take a moment to empty the bottles and throw them in the recycling bin. 
  • Avoid bagging recyclables. Cans, plastics and cardboard boxes can be thrown in the recycle bins as is. There is no need to place these recyclables in plastic bags before disposal in recycle bins. 
  • Batteries have become a waste of concern in solid waste disposal facilities. As you throw away electronic toys or other battery-operated items, take a minute to remove the batteries, tape both battery terminals to prevent fires and deliver them to neighborhood stores participating in battery take-back programs. 

It is important to note that string lights can damage equipment at waste processing facilities when they are thrown into the waste bin. The bulbs may contain metals that could leach into water systems and potential become hazardous to residents.  

Click here to learn how to properly dispose of your Christmas trees.