SAN ANGELO, Texas — If you’re still cleaning up the Christmas wrapping paper and materials, and getting these to the trash, you may be surprised at what you cannot recycle.
“Literally anything you can fit in that can, they put in there. For some it’s a second trash can. We get dirty diapers, clothing, toys, lawnmowers. Anything you can think of goes in there that shouldn’t go in there,” said Shawn Stine, General Manager of Butts Recycling in San Angelo.
The gifts are unwrapped, and now piles of wrapping paper and packaging have to be cleaned up.
Although you may think bundling it all up and tossing it into the recycling bin is the most environmentally friendly thing to do, experts say you should throw most of these materials out instead.
“No wrapping paper, we don’t take that or the Styrofoam packing. If you have packing paper we’ll take that but you have to bring it here, it doesn’t go on the curbside. If you put it in there we’ll put it with cardboard but it’s better if you bring it in here,” explained Stine.
Broken down cardboard boxes can be recycled. However, ribbon and bows cannot be recycled, and neither can cards, bags, or tissue paper.
According to Stine, Butts Recycling in San Angelo receives tons of material that Republic Services collects from San Angelo residents a week. A large quantity of the material is contaminated and has to be sent back to the San Angelo Landfill.
“We sort through it, they come drop it off. Then we sort through it and take out what’s good and sell it to the mills. Roughly 40% is trash, contamination,” continued Stine.
If you had a natural Christmas tree this year, it can be recycled. Clean trees without flocking or tinsel should be placed on your curb on your designated “bulk pick-up” day. Once picked up, the trees will be turned into mulch.
Keep in mind that this week, Republic Services will be running a day late.