Holiday Disposal and Sustainability Guide

Celebrate the holidays sustainably by reducing, reusing, and recycling right.

Holiday Impacts to Garbage Service

Check if Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day will affect your garbage collection by looking up your address.

Disposing of Common Holiday Items

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Remove all tinsel, decorations, stands, and wire frames before disposal. You have several disposal options:

  • Option 1: Yard Debris Cart (if you have this service)
    Cut tree into pieces and place in your yard debris cart for no extra charge (make sure the lid closes). You can do this over several weeks if your tree is large.
    Or set out your tree (6-feet or shorter) next to your yard debris cart. Cut larger trees in half. There may be a small fee for this option (call your garbage company).
  • Option 2: Donation
    Many nonprofit organizations offer pickup services or drop-off locations for a small fee or donation to their cause. Find one by searching Metro’s Find a Recycler webpage.
  • Option 3: Take to a yard debris facility
    Below are several in Clackamas County. Find others by searching Metro’s Find a Recycler webpage.

    Note: The Clackamas County Garbage and Recycling Transfer Station (Sandy Transfer Station) accepts trees as garbage at the garbage rate.

  • Option 4: Garbage
    Cut tree into pieces and place in your garbage cart for no extra charge (make sure the lid closes). You can do this over several weeks if your tree is large.
    Or set out your tree (6-feet or shorter) next to your garbage cart. Cut larger trees in half. There will be a small fee for this option (call your garbage company).
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All artificial trees and trees “flocked” with fake snow should be put at the curb for pick-up as garbage for a small fee (call your garbage company).

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Put in your garbage cart, or take to a facility for recycling (remove large bulbs first). Most of these facilities only recycle string lights during and right after the holiday season.

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Wrapping and Tissue Paper
Put wrapping and tissue paper with glitter, plastic, or metallic foil in the garbage. Those without can go in the recycling.
Gift Bags, Ribbons, and Bows
Reuse next year. Otherwise, ribbons and bows go in the garbage. Put gift bags with glitter, plastic, or metallic foil in the garbage (remove ribbon handles).
Greeting Cards
Put greeting cards with glitter, plastic, or metallic foil in the garbage. Those without can go in the recycling.
Rigid Plastic Packaging
Put rigid plastic packaging (the kind you need scissors to open) in the garbage.
Padded Shipping Envelopes
Do not put paper or plastic shipping envelopes with bubble wrap inside in your recycle cart. Reuse, or put in the garbage.
Or cut out all labels and stickers and take plastic shipping envelopes to the grocery store with your plastic bags.
Bubble Wrap
Reuse, or put in the garbage.
Or take to the grocery store with your plastic bags (pop first).
Packing Peanuts
Reuse, or put in the garbage (bag them first).
Or check with your local shipping store to see if they will reuse them.
Polystyrene (StyrofoamTM)
Put in the garbage.
Or take to one of the below facilities for recycling.

Still have questions? Search Metro’s Find a Recycler directory or call 503-234-3000.

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Pour cooled fats, oil and grease into a disposable, closed container and put in the garbage. Soak up remaining fats, oil and grease with a paper towel and put in the garbage. Do not pour down the sink.

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Set out extra bags for a small fee (call your garbage company).
For large, bulky items that do not fit in your garbage bin (like furniture or mattresses), call your garbage company for a cost estimate or take to a transfer station for a fee. Consider donating if the item is still in good condition. Search Metro's Find a Recycler directory or call 503-234-3000.

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If you rent a house or apartment, ask your property manager before setting out whole trees, extra garbage or large, bulky items.

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Green Gift Giving Guide

The holidays can be expensive and create a lot of extra waste. Explore the options below to save money, reduce waste and help the environment.
Mailing and Wrapping Gifts

  • Reuse shipping envelopes and boxes when mailing presents
  • Save bows, ribbons, gift boxes, and gift bags for next year
  • Make your own wrapping paper from grocery bags, maps, and old calendars
  • Make the wrapping paper part of the gift, like a dish towel
  • Only buy wrapping paper that can be recycled (no glitter, plastic, or metallic foil)

Green Gift Ideas

  • Gift experiences instead of “stuff”
  • Fix something broken
  • Mend a well-loved shirt
  • Find the perfect gently used gift on Facebook Marketplace for the perfect price, or from your local BuyNothing group for free
  • Donate to a loved one’s favorite charity
  • Save on packaging and shipping by sending gift cards instead of large gifts
  • Share the summer bounty from your garden by gifting jams, relishes, and the like

Explore more waste-wise holiday ideas.

Phone:503-557-6363
Email:wasteinfo@clackamas.us

Administrative office | 150 Beavercreek Road Oregon City, OR 97045

Office Hours:

⚠ Visit our Service Hours page for the latest information about office hours.
We also encourage you to call before visiting any county office.