Gifts can be practical, add beauty or provide a unique experience
Cut down on packaging and wrapping paper
- When possible, purchase gifts with little to no packaging or packaging that’s recyclable. (Homemade gifts are free of packaging.)
- Put gifts in reusable containers, wrap them in fabric or use boxes, paper and bows saved from last season.
- Buy recycled-content gift wrap or make your own from paper bags, newsprint, old maps or other paper you have on hand. You can paint, draw, stamp or print designs on the paper.
- Avoid wrapping gifts in materials that aren't recyclable or reusable, such as foil or plastic-coated paper and tissue.
- Consider buying or making holiday cards made from recycled paper.
Be on the lookout for hidden batteries
- Gifting gadgets this year? Many common gifts – like electronic bikes and scooters, rechargeable toys, cell phones and even greeting cards that play music – contain batteries that can cause fires or leak hazardous materials when disposed of improperly.
- When making room for new gifts, remember that old batteries and electronics do not belong in household garbage and recycling bins.
- Use Metro’s find a recycler tool to find battery and electronics drop-off locations. You can take batteries to a Metro household hazardous waste facility for free.
When the holidays are over, reuse, donate and recycle
Recycle your Christmas tree and holiday lights
Recycle your tree or wreath at home with your yard debris, or use a drop site or pickup service operated by a community group. Find places to recycle holiday lights by calling Metro's recycling experts at 503-234-3000 or using the find a recycler tool.
Reuse or recycle the rest
When the holidays are over, reuse or recycle what's left. Save bows, containers, packing peanuts and wrapping paper for reuse next year. Make this year's holiday cards into gift tags for next year. Recycle paper, boxes and cards that you can't reuse, as well as holiday catalogs and magazines.
Watch videos that answer common holiday recycling questions
Want to get rid of any electronics, toys, household furnishings, clothing or accessories? If they’re still in good working condition, consider donating them to charitable organizations.