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Holiday trash and recycling; kick off the new year greener



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Around the holiday season we tend to create a lot more waste but there are ways to reduce the amount which ends up in the landfill.

It’s easy to throw everything in the trash but something like clean wrapping paper can easily be recycled. All you have to do is remove any tape, ribbons,  plastic tags or labels and it’s ready for drop off.

Environmental Educator, for the city of Fayetteville, Heather Ellzey said it does not accept wrapping paper with glitter on it or the shiny foil kind. That all goes in the trash.

The city will take all of those cardboard boxes from opened gifts and packages. Break it down and lay it flat under your bins so it doesn’t fly away. Do not leave any boxes covered with wax on them, the city does not recycle those.

“We have been seeing a big increase in cardboard. We are actually baling some cardboard right now just trying to keep up with it all. We have cardboard trucks with our recyclers and we are still finding it hard to get it all in those trucks,” said Ellzey.

Now if you see anything left in your bin that means the driver couldn’t take it, maybe it wasn’t recyclable or it was contaminated so you can trash it.

Your live holiday trees can also be recycled. All you have to do is leave it curbside for pickup through the month of January. They’ll be picked up along with your recycling and trash.

Before it can be collected, you must remove all of the decorations, lights, ornaments and tinsel. The stand must also be removed.

Ellzey said be sure not to lean the tree against the bins so workers have plenty of space to work around it. The tree will be turned into composts for others to use.

“When everybody comes out and getting compost for their gardens. We don’t want to find holiday balls and ornaments in our gardens, so making sure to go through and take all of those decorations is very important.”

You can also drop your tree off at the city’s composting site .

Fayetteville Composting Site located at 1708 S. Armstrong ave.

  • Winter hours
  • Tues & Thurs 8am – 3pm
  • First Sat of month 8am – 12pm

When it comes to artificial trees, Ellzey’s advice is to drop it off at a donation center. There might be another family who can make good use of the tree.

Ellzey said the city has a goal to divert 40% of its waste from landfills through composting and recycling by 2027 and they will need the community to come together to make it all happen.