Crunch It, Bunch It, Fold It, or Toss It….Just Recycle It!

12-19-2014 10-40-14 AMDo you play Christmas wrap basketball when you open your gifts on Christmas? At our Christmas gathering, someone is in charge of a box or trash bag which becomes the “hoop.” As we open our gifts, the paper is bunched up and tossed toward the bag in hopes of scoring a “basket!”

We all gather up our Christmas wrappings in one manner or another. How we do it is less important than WHAT we do with it once we round it up.

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Americans will use about 4 million tons of wrapping paper and gift bags and will share approximately 2.6 billion greeting cards during the Christmas season! Too much of our paper holiday items end up being hauled off by the trash truck and buried in a landfill, never being given the chance to be used again.

So what can we do to reduce the amount of wrapping paper we use? First consider that millions of trees are cut to produce the wrapping paper we use during the month of December. What a waste to rip it off and bury it in a landfill. Here are some ideas to us as alternatives to wrapping paper. Put as many gifts as possible in gift bags. They usually remain intact once the present has been removed and can be reused several times. Also consider using leftover wallpaper scraps, brown paper bags, black and white newspaper, decorative towels, or baskets. Be creative. Even reusable shopping bags can be used as gift wrap, and it will keep on giving.

7-4-2014-1-58-40-PMDid you know you can recycle that old artificial tree that never gets put up, or those strands of lights that refuse to work? The Athens-Limestone Recycling Center is happy to accept them. Styrofoam peanuts can be taken to Pak Mail on Forrest St. in Athens for reuse; however, they do not accept block Styrofoam.

If you have any questions about this or any other recycling issue, please call the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center at 256-233-8746 or email Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager, at

Here is a guide to help you recycle all that you can this holiday season:

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By: Lynne Hart