Do Your Part in Reducing the Landfill Load

Holiday gift-giving can be fun and generous and rewarding … but the materials used to wrap those gifts can easily outsize household trash cans. Boxes, paper, and protective wrap produce an extra one million tons of trash across the nation, according to the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MCMUA).

To make the holiday season more environmentally friendly, the MCMUA urges county residents to use the general guide below to reduce the landfill load.

Reuse or Recycle Curbside:

  • Paper gift wrap (no sparkles, raised patterns, or foil)
  • Tissue wrapping paper
  • Boxes (corrugated and gift)
  • Plastic bottles and containers coded 1, 2, 4, 5, or 7
  • Clean and dry aluminum cans, food trays, and pie plates
  • Loose metal caps and jar lids
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Cartons and boxes for milk, juice, and soup

Reuse or Trash:

  • Ribbon and bows
  • Gift wrap with sparkles, raised patterns, or foil
  • Bubble wrap (Note: Some small shippers will reuse.)
  • Packing peanuts (Note: Some small shippers will reuse.)
  • Uncoded plastic of any type
  • Plastic bottles and containers coded 3 or 6
  • Plastic caps
  • Plastic rings from six-packs
  • All paper plates and cups; plastic lids, straws, and utensils (used or unused)
  • To-go coffee cups and lids (Note: Bring a reusable cup.)

Special Recycling:

Plastic bags: Do NOT put plastic bags into curbside recycling. They damage recycling machinery, costing taxpayers money. Clean, dry plastic bags can be dropped off at many area grocery stores. They are sent to a recycler and manufactured into composite lumber. For more information, visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.

E-waste (electronics): Recycling is mandated by state law for items such as televisions, computers, tablets, laptops, monitors, desktop printers, and desktop fax machines. They are banned from trash collection. Do NOT leave them at the curb, where scavengers can rip out valuable metals and leave a hazardous waste mess behind. They can be delivered at no charge to Jefferson’s recycling center and several retail outlets.

Batteries: Put disposable alkaline AA and AAA in the trash. Recycle rechargeable batteries through Call2Recycle.

Natural Christmas trees: Christmas trees will be picked up on Wednesdays, January 9, 16, and 23 (weather permitting). Place the trees at the curb with NO lights, bags, or ornaments.

Strings of holiday lights: They are accepted by some scrap metal dealers; call to confirm.

For recycling information specific to Jefferson, click here. For ideas and information on recycling, visit Earth911, the state’s WasteWise program, or MCMUA.

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