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Posted Wednesday, December 20th, 2017


‘Tis the season for holiday get-togethers, gift giving, lots of food and cheer and, unfortunately, tons of holiday trash.  During the period between Thanksgiving and New Years’ Day, households generate 25 percent more waste than normal.

Holiday recycling poster from the MUA featuring Frost the Snowman amidst recycled items

With the hustle and bustle that distracts us at this time of year, the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority reminds Morris County residents to reduce waste and recycle as required. Fortunately, there are easy ways to reduce your trash volume during the holiday season.

“We encourage county residents and schools and businesses to help keep Morris County green during the holidays by taking a few minutes to sort through holiday items, such as  gift boxes and packing materials, that can easily be recycled,’’ said Freeholder Christine Myers, liaison to the MUA.  “All of us – freeholders included – can make a difference by recycling during this holiday season.’’

Freeholder Christine Myers

Morris County Freeholder Christine Myers

Paper Giftwrap: Simply recycle it.  The only exception is foil paper.  Keep foil wrapping paper; foil gift bags, bows and ribbons for re-use, donate them to a charity, or put them in the garbage – and NOT in curbside recycling.

Online Gift Packaging: Remove all packing material before recycling the cardboard box.  Reuse air pillows, bubble wrap, packing peanuts and other polystyrene packing materials, or bring them to a mailing center for reuse.

Cardboard Cartons, Gift Boxes, Catalogues and Greeting Cards: Recycle them along with all of the regularly recycled materials.

Shredded Paper: It is recyclable. But it must be placed inside a clear plastic bag before putting it in your curbside recycling container.  No other plastic bags are acceptable.  Visit www.PlasticFilmRecycling.org  for a list of stores that recycle plastic bags.

E-cycle NJ logoElectronics (e-waste): Many items cannot be placed in the trash (NJ state law). There are excellent options for discarding old TVs, computers, tablets, laptops, monitors, desktop printers and faxes. Try the MUA’s household hazardous waste facility in Mt. Olive (by appointment).  Call 973-829-8006.

Check to see if electronics are accepted at your local recycling depot.  In addition, there are private sector drop-offs, such as Best Buy, Staples, Apple stores, Goodwill and Reconnect.  Visit: http://www.mcmua.com/sw_hhw_faq_electronics.asp for more specifics.

Rechargeable batteries: The Call2Recycle free rechargeable battery recycling program uses retailers as free rechargeable battery drop-off locations.  Home Depot, Lowe’s and Verizon Wireless all participate.  Call 1-877-2-RECYCLE or use visit http://www.call2recycle.org.

To further reduce holiday waste, Chris Vidal, recycling specialist with the MUA, suggests that unwanted gifts be given to local charities.  The MUA’s website lists organizations that want clothing, furniture, household items, books, food and much more.

For further holiday recycling information, visit www.mcmua.com, or email questions to [email protected]

Also visit: “Greening the Season” (USEPA) – http://www3.epa.gov/region09/waste/recycling/index.html

6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Alternatives – http://inhabitat.com/6-eco-friendly-gift-wrap-alternatives/

Electronics Donation and Recycling – https://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling

and http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dshw/ewaste/index.html