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Here's what you can, and cannot, recycle from Christmas

If you can't recycle it, reuse it or donate it!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Tis the season... for wrapping and decorations and lights and bows. So what do you do with all that holiday paraphernalia when it's time to get rid of it?

The City of Knoxville is providing some advice to prevent all that tons of trash from going to a landfill.

First of all, reusing materials is your best bet. Things like bows and ribbons can't be recycled, but you can save them to use in your wrapping for next year. The city quoted a recent Stanford University study that found reusing gift ribbons could tie a 38,000-mile bow that would more than wrap around the entire planet.

If you aren't able to repurpose wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, tags, cardboard boxes and greeting cards, consider recycling them in your curbside cart or take them to a recycling drop-off center. You don't have to remove staples of tape from those items before they can be recycled.

Cookie tins can be recycled if they’re clean and dry. But if they’re in good shape, why not reuse them – or donate them?

Plastic bags, bubble wrap and plastic air pillows can’t be recycled curbside or at drop-off centers, but you can deflate them and recycle them, along with plastic bags, at area grocery stores.

What about Christmas lights? If they still work, you can donate them to Goodwill at a local store or give them to a Goodwill attendant at any City recycling drop-off center (8 a.m.-8 p.m.). They'll accept most holiday decorations at any time!

If the lights don't work, you can still bring them to Goodwill for recycling.

There are a number of ways to dispose of live Christmas trees. In the city, you can just remove the lights and decorations and leave them at the curb to be picked up. You can also bring them to any Knox County convenience center for free disposal throughout January. 

Christmas trees, like leaves and other brush, are delivered to Living Earth, where they are mulched and composted with other organic material into various yard products that the company markets and sells. City crews also use the mulch to landscape public beds and parks.  

Some things just can't be recycled, like holiday ribbons and bows, wrapping materials lined with plastic or decorated with glitter, and any Styrofoam packaging (like peanuts or Styrofoam blocks).