Denver Recycles: ‘Tis the Season to Make Less Waste!

November 27, 2020
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December 15, 2020

Denver Recycles: ‘Tis the Season to Make Less Waste!

American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, adding one million tons of waste to landfills each weekTogether, we can help change this. Here are just a few tips and tools from Denver Recycles that will help keep waste prevention, recycling, and composting in mind as we move into this festive (and often wasteful) time of year:

  • Make memories, not waste. Give experiences like an online class,  virtual escape room, festive tea party, or a cozy movie day on the couch with homemade treats.  If you do buy a gift, look for items that are gently used, have minimal packaging, and are made to last.
  • Get creative and spread joy with reused and recyclable gift wrap.As of 2019, Denver Recycles does not accept ANY wrapping paper.  Instead, wrap gifts in old maps, magazine pages, and newspaper, which can all be recycled.  Or try repurposed fabrics, tea towels, or paper gift bags that can be saved and used to wrap gifts again next year.  Skip plastic bows and ribbons, and choose natural decorations like small twigs and pinecones to top your gift or fabric bows that can be reused.

  • Think reusable. Lots of resources go into creating disposable tableware that’s only used once. If you don’t already, skip the paper plates, plastic utensils, and napkins, and incorporate reusable dinnerware into your holiday tradition.
  • Shop with waste prevention and recycling in mind. Purchase your holiday food staples in bulk. Look for packaging that can be recycled, such as broth cartons, steel cans, and glass jars rather than items contained in plastic wrap or bags that are not accepted in your purple cart.

  • Compost your food waste and napkins. The Denver Composts program is perfect for keeping wasted food, leftovers, bones, dairy, vegetable scraps, paper napkins, and paper towels out of the landfill by turning them into a useful soil amendment known as compost. After you make a delicious broth from your turkey carcass, remember to place it in your green cart with the rest of your carrot tops and potato peels.
  • Maximize recycling by recycling right. Most holiday food packaging, such empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs, are recyclable in your purple cart. The same is true for plain holiday cards. Remember– plastic bags, wrapping paper, glittery cards, photo paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, old toys, and tissue paper are NOT accepted in your purple cart and should be avoided, reused, or placed in the trash.
  • Participate in seasonal programs offered by Denver Recycles. Bring your unwanted holiday lights to our Cherry Creek Recycle Drop-Off as part of our Recycle Your Holiday Lights program.And, don’t forget to participate in Treecycle after the holidays!

  • Pledge to make less holiday waste.  Visit to learn more about stopping waste before it starts and commit to taking action to reduce your waste this holiday season.

For more information about waste prevention, seasonal recycling options, and all other Denver Recycles programs, visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).


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