The Presents Are Opened – Now Can I Recycle This Wrapping?

Written by george on . Posted in News

The holiday season can be a great opportunity for all of us to recycle, but it takes a few moments of work to get it just right. It’s worth it! Bows, glitter, ribbon are not recyclable. Most wrapping paper is, as are most cards and boxes. Below are some common items you probably need to dispose of at this time of year. Please take a few moments to separate what can from what can’t be recycled so you can recycle everything you can without contaminating what goes into the Newtown Township recycling stream. Just a few minutes of separation can do tons of good, while throwing non-recyclables into the stream can do a lot of harm.

BOWS – these cannot be recycled. RIBBONS cannot either. In fact, if they get into the recycling stream they can do a lot of damage to the sorting equipment. Instead, please reuse them as often as you can, then throw them out in the trash once they cannot be used again.

WRAPPING PAPER – Absolutely recycle wrapping paper – UNLESS it is metallic, has glitter or has velvety flocking on it (these damage the processing and contaminate the paper). If it is clean and doesn’t have the above additives, put it right in your recycling!

CARDBOARD BOXES – Cardboard boxes are great to recycle – just break them down, make sure there is no Styrofoam, bubble wrap or other contaminants with them and know that every ton of recycled cardboard saves more than 15 trees! Break them down though – if left assembled they may take up too much room in the trucks requiring more trips and fuel by the truck and some of the good we are doing is lost. If the box has a lot of heavy plastic tape on it remove as much as you can.

CHRISTMAS CARDS – Most can be recycled, some cannot. Take a few minutes and separate and you will be doing a lot of good. Plain paper cards can go right into recycling. Shiny cards printed on photo paper cannot, nor can metallic, foil or glitter portions of cards. You can absolutely tear off the non-recyclable portions and just put in the plan paper parts. Depending on the card you can cut off the picture portion and re-use them as next year’s gift tags too.

PLASTICS – Remember that only plastics marked with the recycling symbol can be recycled, and then only #’s 1 thru 5 and #7. Other numbers are made of materials that cannot be recycled. Presents have lots of plastic packaging but unfortunately most of this kind of plastic cannot be recycled. If unsure about or if you cannot find the symbol with plastic # throw it out.

ELECTRONICS – Newtown Township partners with Marple and Haverford Townships each year to have an electronics recycling collection event. It is usually in May and we will be posting the specific information on the township website shortly once details are finalized. However, many stores will often take items like extension cords and Christmas lights – check with Home Depot, Lowes and others to see if those can be dropped off there.

CHRISTMAS TREES – Newtown Township’s Public Works Department will be collecting Christmas trees for recycling beginning on January 2nd through January 18th. Just bring your tree to the curb and we will pick it up, chip it and re-use the wood chips in Township Parks and along walking trails. We will place some in the bin at Brookside Park as well so residents may take some fresh wood chips for their own use at home. Just make sure you have REMOVED non-organics such as tinsel, ornaments and bags from them – we can only recycle the tree.


Thank you for your efforts to recycle during the holidays and throughout the year. Always watch the Newtown Township website for recycling news and events, including Household Hazardous Waste collection events and a listing of items that can be brought to various locations throughout Delaware County.



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