The Solid Waste District is encouraging residents to green the holidays with easy tips for reducing, reusing and recycling:
1. Use energy-saving holiday lights.
Decorate your house with LED lights that use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights, and save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season!
2. Bring broken, burned out holiday lights to the District.
Through January 15, the District will accept broken, burned out or tangled strings of holiday lights for recycling. Simply drop unwanted light strings, power cords and power strips in the marked box in the District’s office lobby at 4750 East 131st Street in Garfield Heights. Hours are Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. County offices are closed December 25 and January 1.
3. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag).
During the nation’s busiest shopping season, bring your own shopping bags to reduce waste and free up your home recycling bin. Folded, reusable shopping bags also make great stocking stuffers and gift bags, too.
4. Recycle old cell phones and other electronics at the Community Services Department. They are recycled and the proceeds from recycling helps pay for our programs!
Each year 130 million cell phones are thrown out – that’s about 65,000 tons. If you are getting or gifting a new smartphone this year, drop off its predecessor at Community Services!
5. Recycle Gift Wrap & Gift Boxes.
Wrapping paper, holiday cards and boxes that are 100 percent paper can be recycled. Don’t forget to have your recycling container or craft paper bag handy while everyone is opening gifts! Recycle the cards and wrappings with your regular curbside paper collection or take it to a local mixed paper drop-off. Please do not include foil, plastic coating, ribbon, bows and glitter in your recycle bins.
6. Don’t pitch your Christmas tree – recycle it.
Nearly 10 million Christmas trees end up in the landfill after the holidays each year. While your tree won't fit in the recycling bin with your newspapers and bottles, you can still recycle it. Many cities in Cuyahoga County offer programs to turn your tree to mulch or wood chips. Visit http://cuyahogarecycles.org/recycling_in_your_community to learn more.
7. Party time! Get out the old china dishes.
Avoid using paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups and foil pans – none are recyclable. If you are packaging leftovers, reuse plastic containers or glass jars instead of throw-away alternatives.
For more information on these tips and many more ways to go green this holiday season, visit CuyahogaRecycles.org.