Blog Post


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our recycling centers – and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Christmas trees, holiday lights and decorations are coming in droves to our network of recycling facilities. While we’re sure our customers had good intentions, these items are gumming up the works.

When you hear you can recycle Christmas tree, that doesn’t mean in your curbside recycling bin. It actually means they can be composted.

If you’e trying to find a new home for your collection of Santa Claus statues and wreaths, try Goodwill or Salvation Army instead of your community recycling drop box.

Your tangled or broken strands of Christmas lights should find its way to a specialized recycler, and not be placed in your Rumpke recycling container.

We aren’t trying to be a holiday Grinch. We simply want to ensure your recycling efforts count.

This time of year, our recycling facilities will see a 25 percent increase in the amount of material received. To ensure that our machines and employees can effectively work, we need to keep items out of the system that get tangled around machines or jam equipment.

 As a reminder – here are the naughty and nice Christmas Lists:

 The Nice List: Recycle These Items

  • Wrapping paper (not foil)
  • Gift boxes
  • Gift bags (paper, not foil)
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Newspapers and sales ads
  • Cards & envelopes
  • Clean pizza boxes
  • Wrapping paper rolls (cardboard)
  • Junk mail 
  • Plastic bottles & jugs
  • Aluminum beverage cans
  • Steel food and drink cans
  • Glass bottles and jars

The Naughty List: Don’t Put These in Your Recycling

  • Christmas lights
  • Extension cords
  • Plastic bags
  • Ribbons, bows and tinsel
  • Tissue paper
  • Foil wrapping paper
  • Plastic packaging 
  • Plastic toys
  • Whipped topping and butter tubs
  • Aluminum pie pans and roasting pans
  • VHS tapes (when you upgrade to DVD and Blu-Ray)
  • Packing peanuts and bubble wrap
  • Ceramics 
  • Christmas trees (both real and fake

About the Author: Molly Yeager is the Corporate Communications Supervisor at Rumpke Waste & Recycling

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