TrashTalk: Holiday Waste Guide

Add More Blue & Green to your Holidays

‘Tis the season for great food and getting together with friends and relatives. It is also a time when we create a lot of waste.

Did you know that 46% of what is found in the Garbage should have been put in the Green Bin (organic waste) or Blue Bin (recycling)? This is a missed opportunity to recover valuable resources and minimize what is sent to landfill. Learn how to properly sort these common holiday items.

Plastic plates & cups – Hosting a party? It’s best to use reusable dinnerware to reduce waste, but if you are using disposable plastic plates and cups, make sure you rinse them and put in the Blue Bin. Note – black plastics go in the Garbage.

Gift wrap & cards – Who doesn’t love a beautifully wrapped gift? After carefully unwrapping, reuse the wrapping paper for a future gift. If it cannot be reused, put paper gift wrap and cards in the Blue Bin. Foil wrap goes in the Garbage.

Ribbons & bows – The best thing to do with ribbons and bows is to save and reuse them for your next special occasion. If they’re not reusable, place them in the Garbage.

Cakes, cookies and clementines – It’s the season for goodies. Food waste such as fruit peels go in the Green Bin, while wooden fruit crates go in the Garbage. Empty cookie tins are great for reuse, but otherwise go in the Blue Bin.

Take-out food containers – Bringing food to a holiday potluck? Use reusable containers. If you must bring food in a take-out container, be sure to put it in the Blue Bin (though if the container or tray is black, place it in the Garbage.)

For more information on how to sort holiday waste, call 311 or visit