Kathryn Goodwin

Don’t be a naughty Christmas recycler

Northwestern B.C. regional district has info on what can be recycled, reused

With Christmas comes a lot of packaging that quickly loses its appeal once packages are unwrapped and boxes opened, but a lot of what’s generated can be recycled and saved from the landfill.

That also goes for the many and varied types of packaging and containers holding the increased amount of food and beverages purchased over the Christmas entertaining season.

When it comes to sorting out the garbage and recycling at Christmas, the Kitimat-Stikine regional district would like to see residents use the curbside collection to its full potential with recyclables and garbage put in the right places.

Most can be recycled and not need to go to the landfill, says regional district environmental services coordinator Margaret Kujat.

There are many places to take items for recycling rather than just throwing them out, says Kujat.

“The beauty is you have options rather than the landfill,” she says.

Kathryn Goodwin, assistant solid waste services coordinator for the regional district, says recyclables include egg nog containers, milk cartons and jugs, including soy milk and other milk alternate containers, which need to be rinsed out first.

Liquor bottles and beer cans can be taken back to a number of places and you get your deposit back.

When you get a take-out coffee, those paper cups can be rinsed out and recycled.

Shampoo bottles, laundry detergent, bleach containers can all be rinsed out and recycled.

Aerosol containers that don’t contain toxic material can be recycled, such as non-stick cooking spray cans.

And paper envelopes with windows are recyclable and the windows don’t have to be cut out.

If you don’t re-use them, metal cookie and candy tins are also recyclable.

Wrapping paper that’s just paper can be recycled too.

Glass is an important one to recycle and if it’s broken, make sure it’s wrapped so workers don’t get cut.

Electronic toys go with recyclables along with small appliances. Non-waxed, clean cardboard can be recycled.

If you flatten boxes they should fit nicely into the blue bag used for recycling in the curbside program.

Same goes for flattening cans and gable top milk or eggnog containers.

Natural Christmas trees can go into the compost or be burned for a weiner roast.

Christmas lights can go to the bottle depot for recycling.

Some items are mixed so parts can be recycled and parts can’t be. That includes frappucino coffee bottles made of glass. The glass can be recycled, but not the lids because although they’re metal, they have heavy rubber rings in them.

Pump or spray bottles that contain liquid soap or window cleaner can be taken apart and the pump recycled. says Goodwin.

Bows and ribbons on presents must be removed because they’re not recyclable.

Wrapping paper or gift bags that are lined with foil or have plastic, which makes them look shiny, have to be trashed.

Styrofoam is garbage.

Toys can be placed in the garbage if they don’t have any electronic parts. Fake trees cannot be burned so also place those in the garbage.

Waxed cardboard or cardboard has any residue in it from its contents is garbage.

Padded envelopes or plastic courier envelopes go in the garbage.

Kujat also said people should take statutory holidays into account before taking out their garbage or recyclables.