Holiday recycling: Here’s your naughty and nice list

The presents have been unwrapped, the boxes broken down and there’s wrapping paper everywhere: it’s time to be smart about cleaning up after the holidays.

Each year Tidewater Fibre Corporation releases a Naughty and Nice recycling list that people can use to help decide what should or shouldn’t go into the recycling bin.

Below you can find a quick checklist of items you should and shouldn’t recycle.


  • Plain wrapping paper
  • Gift boxes
  • Tissue paper
  • Paper gift bags
  • Holiday cards
  • Envelopes
  • Shoe boxes
  • Cardboard and paper
  • Plastic bottles and jugs
  • Plastic food containers
  • Rigid plastics
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Aluminum cans
  • Metal cans


  • Bubble wrap
  • Ribbons, tape and bows
  • Tree ornaments and decorations
  • Sticky gift labels
  • Laminated or coated gift bags
  • Foam peanuts and Styrofoam packaging
  • Cellophane or plastic bags
  • Christmas lights
  • Christmas trees

Reducing your Christmas Waste

AskHRGreen team members Rebekah Eastep and Katie Cullipher weigh in on the topic of Christmas recycling with a few other tips.

They both recommend thinking about reusing packaging for your gifts.

This can cut down on the amount of paper waste that is accumulated, they said.

They also said a good trick to figuring out if your wrapping paper is recyclable is to see if it has a coating on it, those types would be shiny glittery or metallic in nature.

Those types are no-go’s for recycling.

What about my decorations?

Sure, the inside of your house is clean but what about all of the decorations outside of your home?

If you’re looking to get rid of your strings of lights you can take them to your local Home Depot for recycling.

Customers of The Home Depot have recycled more than 2- 1/2 million holiday light strings since 2008 – that’s equal to nearly 69 million plastic water bottles, according to Home Depot’s website.

Be sure to check with your Home Depot location before dropping off your recyclables to make sure they can take them.

Also, check out their webpage.

A few other things to keep in mind is that since Christmas Day is a holiday, curbside pick up of recyclables and trash may be altered, so check with your cities beforehand to find out any schedule changes.

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