(COLORADO) — The holidays are a time to get together with family, decorate the home, and give gifts to loved ones. However what should be done with the waste created during the holidays?

WM (formerly Waste Management) is sharing holiday recycling tips to help households keep local sustainability programs clean and successful.

WM said to only recycle clean cardboard, paper, metal food and beverage cans and only household plastics shaped like bottles, jugs, jars or tubs. Check local community rules for recycling glass as not all recycling centers accept glass. Place recyclables loosely and directly into recycling carts.

  • A graphic listing items that should always be recycled such as metal cans and cardboard boxes
  • A graphic showing a wreath next to examples of what should not be recycled
  • Decorating need not create additional waste when you utilize items already on-hand. This light-catching Coke can holiday tree was created with mini aluminum beverage cans, a cardboard tube for the trunk and biodegradable peanuts for snow.

WM shared specific advice for various types of holiday items and what to do with them:

  • Holiday Gift Materials – Recycle cardboard boxes, paper-based packing material, gift boxes and gift bags, plain greeting cards. Reuse or throw away ribbons and bows. Throw away bubble wrap, foam packaging inserts, packing peanuts and plastic air bags in the trash. Watch out for glitter – which makes any product non-recyclable. When recycling cardboard boxes remove the packaging inserts, flatten the box and place it inside your curbside cart with the lid securely closed.
  • Holiday Decorations – Most common decorative items should go in the trash – such as wreaths, garland, broken ornaments, holiday lights, power cords. Live Christmas trees can often be recycled at a local drop-off location (but check with your municipality for details on how to recycle your tree). Artificial Christmas trees can be donated but do not belong in recycling. Toys are not recyclable.
  • Holiday Feasts – Food-related items that can be recycled include aluminum beverage cans, metal food cans, plastic water and drinking bottles, plastic eggnog and apple cider jugs, plastic beverage bottles, pizza boxes and clean pie tins. Make sure not to recycle plastic bags, plastic/wax wrap or any food scraps. Dirty paper plates are not recyclable and neither are plastic eating utensils.