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Remember to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle During the Holidays

The holiday season can often create excessive amounts of waste and recyclables. The City of Sioux Falls reminds residents and businesses to reduce, reuse, and recycle during the busy holiday season. To help with these efforts, the City has published a Sustainable Holidays guide to help residents reduce their waste as well as their energy and water consumption this season.

The City also encourages residents to recycle properly during the holidays. Items such as foil wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, and single-use dinnerware and silverware are not recyclable and belong in the trash. To reduce the amount of waste you generate, use recyclable paper such as newspaper for gift wrap, skip on the bows and ribbons, and use reusable dinnerware and silverware.

“When we recycle properly, we can actually recycle more material. Items that do not belong in the recycling bin can contaminate a whole load of recyclables, causing them to be put in the landfill instead of accepted at a recycling facility,” says Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Lantgen.

The City has a recycling goal of 25 percent by 2017. The 2015 recycling rate was 23.6 percent.

“In order to meet our recycling goal, we need everyone to do their part and recycle not just during the holidays, but every day. Make sure you’re recycling properly, and reduce the amount of waste you generate. Together we can recycle more and extend the life of our landfill,” says Lantgen.

Below are some tips to help you recycle right this holiday season:
• Recycle cardboard boxes, magazines, newspaper, envelopes, holiday cards, and newspaper/magazine mailers/ads.
• Recycle plastic jugs, tubs, and bottles.
• Recycle bagged plastic bags, packaging, and bubble wrap. These items must be bagged separately in a clear plastic bag.
• Recycle clean aluminum foil and trays, tin, and aluminum cans.
• Recycle glass bottles and jars.
• Recycle paper egg cartons, milk, and juice cartons.
• DO NOT recycle Christmas trees both artificial and real. The City will offer a public drop off for live Christmas trees.
• Do not place foil or glitter wrapping paper, bows, clothing and fabric, electronics, food waste, scrap metal including cookware and silverware, wood, Styrofoam, tires, furniture, or toys in your home recycling bin.
• Bring electronics, holiday lights, batteries, light bulbs, and household chemicals to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility for proper disposal.

For a complete Sustainable Holidays guide and a guide on proper recycling, visit siouxfalls.org/green.