We create more trash during the holidays. Celebrate with less trash by following these tips to reuse or recycle more and know what you need to throw away.
How to Get Rid of Your Christmas Tree, Wreath, or Garland
Option 1: Donation
Many nonprofit organizations offer pickup services or drop-off locations for a small fee or donation to their cause. Find a donation service near you by searching Metro’s Find a Recycler webpage. No tinsel, decorations, stands, or wire frames. Inquire with organization about flocked trees.
Option 2: If You Have Yard Debris Service
Cut your tree so it will fit in your yard debris cart. The lid must close. If the pieces won’t all fit at once, you can fill your yard debris cart over more than one week. Otherwise, cut it in sections no longer than six feet and place it on the side of your cart. There will be an extra charge for trees not in the cart or not cut into sections. No flocked trees. No tinsel, decorations, stands, or wire frames.
Option 3: Take to a Yard Debris Processing Facility
Take your tree to a facility that processes yard debris. Find one close to you by searching Metro’s Find a Recycler webpage. No flocked trees. No tinsel, decorations, stands, or wire frames.
Note: The Clackamas County Garbage and Recycling Transfer Station (formally known as the Sandy Transfer Station) only accepts trees as garbage. Customers will be charged the garbage rate. They will accept flocked trees.
Option 4: Garbage
Includes flocked trees. Place tree in your garbage cart. If your tree will not fit in the cart, cut it in sections no longer than six feet and place it on the side. There will be an extra charge for trees not in the cart or cut into sections.
Live within Molalla city limits?
Trees can be set out on collection day for 2-3 weeks after Christmas, no charge for pick up. Cut trees taller than 8 feet in half. No flocked trees. No tinsel, decorations, stands, or wire frames.
String Lights: Reuse or Recycle
String lights can be taken to many depots, including Metro transfer stations, free of charge. Leave small bulbs on, but remove large bulbs.
- Metro South Transfer Station
2001 Washington St., Oregon City map
- Clackamas County Garbage & Recycling Transfer Station (Sandy Transfer Station)
19600 SE Canyon Valley Road, Sandy map
Wrapping Paper: Reuse, Recycle or Throw Away
If the wrapping paper is not reusable, then you can put it in curbside recycling if it doesn't have metallic foil or glitter. However, if it does have metallic foil or glitter, put it in the garbage. You may want to buy recyclable wrapping paper in the future, or wrap gifts in something that can be reused or is part of the gift (like a dish towel).
Gift bags, ribbon: reuse or throw away
If possible, save gift bags and ribbon for future use. Otherwise, toss them in the garbage.
Gift Bags, Ribbon: Reuse or Throw Away
If still in good condition, save gift tissue for future use. If the gift tissue is plain, you can recycle it. However, if the gift tissue has glitter or a metallic sheen, toss it in the garbage.
Rigid Plastic: Throw Away
Rigid plastics, like clamshells, are not included in your curbside recycling program. Toss them in the garbage.
Bubble Wrap & Packing Peanuts: Reuse, Bring to a Recycling Depot or Throw Away
Materials such as bubble wrap and packing peanuts can be reused. Your local shipping store may take them. Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are not included in your curbside recycling program, but can be recycled at depots throughout the region. Materials that cannot be reused or recycled will have to be thrown in the garbage.
Styrofoam is not included in your curbside recycling program and currently there is only one recycling depot that takes it.
7904 SW Hunziker St., Tigard map
Don’t Know If You Can Recycle What You Have?
Do you have questions about recycling materials not mentioned here? Search Metro's Find a Recycler directory or call 503-234-3000 for a recycling location near you.
Planning Can Reduce Even More Waste
Planning ahead can save a lot of waste, and money, too. If you are already thinking about how you can prevent waste for next year or for other celebrations, try these ideas.
- Only use reusable or recyclable giftwrap or packaging
- Make the wrapping part of the gift, like colorful dish towels
- Make your own gift wrap from grocery bags, maps or calendars
- Give experiences instead of stuff: movies, concerts, museums
- Purchase gifts from thrift stores
- Donate to a loved one's favorite charity
- Send gift cards to save on packing and shipping
- Share your summer bounty with gifts of jams, relishes, and the like.
For even more waste-wise holiday information, explore Metro's waste-wise holiday ideas.