Remember to Recycle This Holiday Season!

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Remember to Recycle This Holiday Season!

Denver Recycles encourages you to keep waste prevention, recycling and composting in mind as you move into this festive (and often wasteful) time of year. Not only do Americans waste more than 40% of their food from farm to fork, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Now is the perfect time to take individual actions to curb your holiday waste.
Here are a few helpful seasonal recycling tips to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost more:

  • Shop with waste prevention and recycling in mind. Purchase your holiday food staples in bulk. If that’s not possible, look for packaging that can be recycled, such as broth cartons, steel cans, and empty aluminum pie tins. Familiarize yourself with Denver’s recycling guidelines prior to shopping to know what can be recycled in your purple cart.
  • Try the Guestimator tool. Planning meals for large groups can be difficult. Take the guess work out of meal prep and try this Guestimator tool (don’t worry, the tool lets you plan for leftovers!).
  • Store food correctly. Don’t let those delicious Thanksgiving leftovers go bad before they’re eaten. Read up on proper and preferred food storage tips.
  • Think reusable. Lots of resources go into creating disposable tableware that’s only used once. If you don’t already, skip the paper plates and napkins and incorporate reusable dinnerware into your family tradition!
  • Compost your food waste and napkins. The Denver Composts program is perfect for keeping wasted food, leftovers, bones, dairy, vegetable scraps, and paper napkins 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 the rest of your carrot tops and potato peels. Not a Denver Composts customer? Sign up today!
  • Maximize recycling by recycling rightMost holiday food packaging, such empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs, are recyclable in your purple cart. The same is true for plain wrapping paper and plain holiday cards. Remember– plastic bags, photo paper, bubble wrap, and tissue paper do NOT belong in your purple cart and should be avoided, reused, or placed in the trash. Better yet– get creative, and use reusable gift wraps instead!
  • Utilize seasonal programs offered by Denver Recycles. Recycle your unwanted holiday lights with the Recycle Your Holiday Lights program starting on November 20th. And, don’t forget to participate in Treecycle after the holidays!

Recycle Your Holiday Lights at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off!
November 20 – January 19

Do you have broken, burned-out or impossibly tangled sets of holiday lights stored away with last year’s holiday decorations? Don’t throw them out – recycle them for free instead!
Denver Recycles will collect and recycle holiday lights from November 20, 2018 through January 19, 2019 at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off  located near the intersection of S. Quebec St. and E. Cherry Creek South Drive(enter going south on Cherry Creek Drive South and follow the signs).  The Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off hours of operation are Tuesdays – Fridays from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM.  The Drop-off is closed on Sundays, Mondays and City holidays.

Incandescent, LED, and “icicle” light strings, along with wires and attached bulbs, will be accepted for recycling. No bubble (liquid-filled) or neon lights. All packaging material and bags must be removed from the light strands prior to recycling.

Holiday lights cannot be recycled in purple carts or other regular single-stream recycling programs, but they do contain materials that are perfectly recyclable when processed appropriately. Components of your discarded lights, such as copper, brass, and plastic, will be separated and recycled into new products (possibly even new strands of holiday lights!). Just think of the energy savings you’ll see by phasing out old strands of incandescent bulbs and replacing them with energy-efficient LED holiday lights. Don’t delay– bring us your old holiday lights today!

For more information on the Recycle Your Holiday Lights program, contact Denver Recycles at 311 (720-913-1311) or For more resources on saving energy and improving your home’s comfort this winter season, visit


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