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Recycling after the holidays

After the holidays, houses are littered with piles of crumpled wrapping paper and bows, dozens of holiday cards, pine needles on the carpet, holiday lights and pesky packaging materials. The St Croix County Recycling Program offers the following recycling tips to simplify post-holiday cleanup so you can start the New Year with a clean house (and a clean conscience):

Reuse wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, boxes and tissue paper as much as you can. Wrapping paper is generally not recyclable because of the foil, glitter and adhesives. In the future, considering using reusable boxes, gift bags, or wrap the gifts in colorful newspaper for a recyclable option.

Recycle greeting cards. Save cards and cut them up to use as gift tags next year. They also make a great resource for children’s art projects, or you can donate them to the St. Croix County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) for senior projects. Drop them off at the ADRC office located in the St Croix County Government Center, 1101 Carmichael Road, Hudson; or the Hammond or Baldwin Senior Centers.

Recycle your holiday lights. The St Croix County Recycling Program in coordination with the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) brings you Recycle Your Holidays™ a one-of-a-kind holiday light recycling program. Drop off unwanted light strings at any of the seven locations in St. Croix County, through the end of January:  Gregerson Ace Hardware, Baldwin; The Purple Tree, Hudson; Doyle’s Ace Hardware, New Richmond; New Richmond Utilities; River Falls Ace Hardware; River Falls City Hall; River Falls High School.

Recycle your tree. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees sold in North America each year. After the holidays, put your tree to good use – chip it to use as mulch around shrubs and flowerbeds or, if you have a live tree, plant it in the yard or donate it to a local school or nursing home to plant on their grounds. Many waste haulers will collect trees from their customers at the curb. Contact your hauler directly for information regarding tree pick-up services.

Recycle packaging material. Cardboard boxes should have all plastics removed and should be flattened for recycling collection at the curb or municipal drop-off locations. Packing peanuts are also highly reusable if they are clean and in good shape. The UPS Store in Hudson accepts clean foam packaging peanuts of all sizes, shapes and colors for reuse.

Donate old toys, clothes or unwanted gifts. Start the New Year with a clean slate. Take this time each year to donate to local charities any unwanted gifts along with last year’s toys, clothes, or electronics that are still in good shape. Organizations that accept used goods can be found on our website

For more recycling program information call 715.386.4675 or Program updates and general recycling information are available on our webpage and our Facebook page