Where To Recycle All Your Holiday Leftovers

The holidays bring lots of celebration, fun and waste. Don't get overwhelmed with all the boxes, bottles, wrapping paper, trees, etc. &mdash check out our tips on how to dispose of these things quickly, easily and with a good conscience, after the jump.

Christmas Trees: We just dropped off our tree with the City of Chicago's Holiday Tree Recycling Program &mdash from now until January 17 they'll accept trees to be chipped and turned into mulch (free mulch will be available to residents for pick up beginning January 8). Check with your city or Earth911.com's Christmas tree recycling directory for a program near you. And if you plan on leaving your tree curbside be sure to ask whether it gets recycled or just thrown in the dump. Lastly, you can take matters into your own hands and chop the tree into firewood, kindling or mulch.

Broken Glasses: Yep, we ended the year with a broken glass. Check with your local recycling facility on whether it can still go into the recycling or should be discarded with the garbage instead &mdash either way wrap broken glass securely in paper to avoid injury during handling. If you are feeling crafty save the glass for a future DIY or mosaic project.

Bottles: So many liquids are consumed during the holidays! While these can go straight into the recycling there are also easy way to reuse them &mdash check out one of our roundups here and here or turn it into a plant nanny.

Wrapping Paper, Cards and Envelopes: Pretty much all of these can go straight into your recycling bin, or shredded to be used as fun packaging next year. Don't forget you can reuse any gently used wrapping paper, gift bags and gift boxes next year or donate them to thrift store such as the Salvation Army.

Cardboard Boxes: We had so many cardboard boxes that they wouldn't fit in our recycling bin, we took ours to our local city recycling drop-off facility. Check with your local municipality for bulk recycling locations, or look one up through Earth911.com. UPS will also except cardboard boxes in good condition and unbroken bubble wrap. Lastly cardboard can also be added to compost piles or used in the garden to act as weed control (like mulch).

Gift Cards: Got a gift card that you don't want or can't use? Simply Stated recommends websites such as Swapagift.com and Certificateswap.com where you can buy, sell or trade gift cards from a huge variety of stores.

(Image: Flickr member tim tolle licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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