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Here’s what to do with your holiday waste

After cleaning up from holiday celebrations, Calgarians may be wondering how to dispose of all the wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and extra food waste.

According to the City of Calgary, Calgarians continue to generate around 25 per cent more waste during the Christmas season.

“For the two weeks after Christmas, we see an increase of three times the amount of recyclables that are picked up by the city,” said Sharon Howland, program management leader with waste and recycling services for the City of Calgary.

“So it’s a really great opportunity to remember what goes in each bin so that we can make sure that your recyclables are being recycled properly and your compostables are composted.”

Howland says the biggest things Calgarians generally recycle wrong, are packaging, wrapping paper and broken toys and ornaments.

“It’s the gift wrap, the tissue paper, the holiday cards, all of the plastic packaging lots and lots of shipping bags, your Amazon shipping bags your bubble wrap your protective bubbles that go in each of the packages, all the cardboard boxes, Amazon boxes that sort of thing,” said Howland.

“From a food waste perspective, you’ve got all the turkey carcasses bones and people don’t really think about it but all of the baking-related food waste, so the muffin liners, all of the egg shells.”

As for wrapping paper, any paper that tears and is glossy can be thrown in your blue cart. Any cellophane or crinkly wrapping paper, is thrown out.

“It’s the crinkly cellophane,” she said.

“That’s what really gets people. You get a big gift basket from the company, thanking you for your hard work this year and it’s wrapped in a cellophane, that crinkly kind of plastic. That unfortunately is just garbage.”

Zero Waste Canada says 545,000 tonnes of waste is generated from gift wrapping and shopping bags each year.

Canadians also use about six million rolls of tape to wrap Christmas presents annually.

Broken toys, Christmas lights, tinsel and ornaments should be disposed of in your black garbage can, along with any mesh or netting for your tree, toys or mandarin oranges.

Batteries also need to be disposed of properly, and not in your city bins.

A full guide to waste is available on the city’s website.

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