Nearly twice the amount of waste is collected in Edmonton in the two weeks following Christmas compared to early December.
Here are some tips and things to remember when sorting your holiday garbage.
Does it have a cord or battery? Take it to an Eco Station
Holiday lights, electronics and decorations can be dropped off at one of Edmonton’s four Eco Station locations.
Items like holiday lights can get tangled in the equipment at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, causing mechanical issues.
Ornaments, wrapping paper and decor (in good condition) can be reused!
Leftover holiday crafting supplies, ornaments, wrapping paper that’s still in good condition and decor can be taken to the Reuse Centre.
Please also consider saving these items and reusing them again year after year.
“Paper gift wrap is a recyclable item,” said Jana Lee, an education programs supervisor with the city. “This is a plastic bag that’s also recyclable. We also take cardboard, such as this box. But this one is in really good shape so consider putting this in the reuse pile to be given a second life.
“We also take metals… If it’s clean and in good shape, definitely could be a recyclable item.”
Packaging and boxes: what’s recyclable?
Most of the packaging used for toys and other gifts is not recyclable. Only paper or cardboard elements are recyclable. Separate waste and recycle what you can.
Remember, batteries should be taken to an Eco Station.
Metallic, glittery or non-paper wrapping is not recyclable. Neither are bows, ribbons and styrofoam.
Tips for a waste-free (or waste less) holiday season
- Give experiences as gifts, like events, dinner out, a class or attraction passes
- Wrap gifts using reusable materials, like a scarf, cloth bag or gift bag
- Donate your time and skills as a gift
- Make a donation to a charity or organization
- Buy an annual subscription or membership to a streaming service
Christmas tree disposal/pickup
Artificial trees can be used again and again.
The Reuse Centre accepts artificial trees (for free) as long as they’re in a box with all the parts.
More than 9,730 trees were collected in January 2019 for composting.
Residents are asked to place their un-bagged tree on its side next to their garbage bags by 7 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Residents involved in the cart program are asked to not place trees inside the green carts.
Trees will be picked up for recycling before the end of the month, but not necessarily on your regular waste collection day.
If you live in a condo or apartment, please take your natural tree to a community recycling depot or an Eco Station for free between Friday, Dec. 27, 2019 and Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.
Christmas trees should not be placed in or near apartment recycling or garbage bins as they will not be picked up.
Need to get rid of an artificial tree? The Reuse Centre accepts ones in good condition, as long as they are in a box and includes all parts. The donated trees are available for purchase by organizations or individuals.
If the artificial tree is not in good condition, drop it off at an Eco Station or set it out with regular garbage collection. Package the tree for collection, not in a big box, but in bags or bundles less than four feet in length. Keep each bag or bundle under 44 pounds.
Check out the WasteWise app
The city created an app to make sorting your waste and recyclables even easier.
The free app also provides garbage and recycling schedules and reminders.