Holiday Recycling Tips

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans throw out 25 percent more trash than any other time of that year.

Here a a few tips on where to dispose of your holiday-related waste:

Cardboard: Flatten and put in your recycling cart.

Ribbons and bows: It’s best to reuse them; otherwise place in garbage.

Gift wrap: Reuse or recycle.

Greeting cards and envelopes: Recycle.

Batteries: Alkaline batteries can go in the garbage. You can find places throughout Seattle that can recycle all varieties of batteries at

Old Christmas lights: King County offers a list of nearby locations where you can recycle your lights for free.

Foam: Call your local mailing/shipping store to see if they will accept clean packing peanuts. Foam chunks used for packaging are collected at a few locations in the Puget Sound area, including Styro Recycle in Renton. Otherwise, foam goes in the garbage. Bag the peanuts to prevent litter.

Electronics: Go to for locations to drop off your old TVs, monitors and computers.

It’s best to use up what you have,  donate items in good condition that you no longer need, and purchase items with little or no packaging.

Want to learn where other stuff should be disposed? Visit to find out!


Recycle Your Old Christmas Lights

Do you have a pile of burned-out Christmas lights? Are you replacing old lights with energy-efficient LED ones? Don’t throw out them out – recycle them! Christmas light recycling programs take your old light strands and recycle the copper wire inside them.

King County offers a list of nearby locations where you can recycle your holiday lights for free:

• Magnolia and Maple Leaf Ace Hardware stores

• Christmas Light Recycling – Mail-in recycling program

• Lowe’s Home Improvement stores – most locations

• McLendon Hardware – all 7 Puget Sound area locations

Other businesses and organizations may also offer light recycling programs. When shopping for new lights at retailers, ask if they have a program.

Worst Halloween Candy Contest

candycornFrom Candy Corn to Peeps, there are plenty of Halloween “treats” that terrify Seattle residents.

Vote for your least favorite Halloween candy by October 27 and you’ll be entered to win a kitchen compost collector – great for carrying unwanted leftovers to your food and yard waste cart, where they will be turned to compost to help grow pumpkins, sunflowers and other garden delights.

Since 2005, Seattle residents have helped divert more than 400,000 tons of food from the landfill by composting!

Reminders: Wrappers and gum go in the garbage. Food, leaves and pumpkins go in the food and yard waste cart.

Four lucky winners will be randomly drawn to win. Results will be announced on October 30. Seattle residents only, please.

Hurry! BioBag Sale Ends Soon

It’s not garbage anymore!

Vegetable and fruit trimmings, meat, fish, poultry scraps, bones, plate scrapings, egg shells, coffee grounds, paper towels and napkins – even pizza delivery boxes – all can be composted in your yard waste cart.

Food scrap containers and compostable bags can make kitchen food scrap collection clean and easy.

Now through September 30, Seattle, King County, BioBag, and Bartell Drugs are bringing you huge savings on kitchen scrap containers and BioBag compostable bags at a Bartell Drugs near you. Learn more and find a retailer near you at

Seattle 56, Denver 14

Some fans talk trash. Others recycle it.

Seattle businesses and residents recycled and composted more than 56 percent of their waste last year. Denver recycled just 14 percent.

As the Seattle fans prepare for this Sunday’s rematch against their Super Bowl rivals, Seattle Public Utilities offers the 12th Man some tips to help make the clean up of the victory party green and easy:

1) Skittles thrown on your floor and other unwanted leftover food are compostable. Put them in your food and yard waste cart and they’ll be turned into compost that helps turf grow.

2) Candy wrappers, potato chip bags, plastic cutlery, fruit and vegetable stickers and plastic containers with food on it go in the garbage.

3) Cardboard pizza boxes, chicken bones, paper napkins go in your food and yard waste cart.

4) Bottles, cans, paper, clean plastic food containers and empty plastic and paper cups all go in the recycling cart. Lids wider than 3 inches also can be recycled.

5) Place containers for composting, recycling and garbage near each other so that your party guests know where stuff goes, so you don’t have to sort it out for them.

6) Not sure where it goes? Visit

Go Hawks!