As we celebrate the holidays with family and friends, we also increase our waste by more than 25 percent—that’s about one million extra tons of garbage each week!
We’ve put together this Sioux Falls Christmas Waste Guide to help you find out if these holiday items are naughty or nice:
(Select each item to find out if it’s a yes or no)
Paper greeting cards and Christmas cards can be recycled in your single stream bin, but only if it’s just paper. Any extras (glitter, plastics, foil, batteries, photo paper) must be removed.
Cards on Photo Paper are not recyclable. If it’s JUST paper, please remove any extras (glitter, foil, or batteries) before recycling.
If the card envelope is just paper, then Yes, recycle (any color is okay). If the envelope is lined with foil or other non-paper material, it’s a No.
“If it rips, recycle it!”– If the wrapping paper easily rips, it’s probably just paper (Yes!). Any glitter, foil, metallic or plastic coatings… it’s a NO (The cardboard core is a YES). Learn More.
If just paper, YES! Recycle that tissue paper (any color is okay). If any extras like glitter, foil, metallic coatings, it’s a No.
Cardboard boxes & packing paper are recyclable (labels & tape are OK). Remove any strings or bows, bubble wrap, plastic pillows and styrofoam.
Gift Bags are recyclable if they are just paper (No glitter, foil, metallic coatings). Remove handles (usually made of string or ribbon) before recycling.
Bows, Ribbon, Yarn… really any stringy items, are not recyclable because they get caught in our equipment. Learn more about stringy items here.
A little tape or glue left on paper or envelopes is okay, but too much can cause big issues gumming up the system and contaminating material. If you’re decorating, instead of paint use crayons or markers so the paper can still be recycled.
Holiday Decorations like ornaments, tinsel, fake snow, picture frames, figurines, etc are made of non-recyclable material or a mix of many materials. Donate, reuse, or throw away if broken.
Christmas Trees & Wreaths, whether real or fake, are not recyclable. If Fake, donate to a local thrift store or charity. If real, bring to the City’s drop off sites. Learn more here.
Christmas Lights or String lights aren’t allowed in your bin. Take them to the City’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility for free recycling instead. Learn more on our blog.
Food waste, scraps and leftovers are not recyclable. Food contaminates everything in the bin if it gets in. Try composting scraps, donating leftovers to a local food pantry, or saving in your freezer to enjoy later.
Food & Drink containers including plastic bottles, tubs and jugs, glass bottles and jars, metal cans, aluminum foil & pans are recyclable only if completely empty. Not sure if your container is recyclable? Check out our yes list here.
Dishes made of glass, ceramic, metal or plastic are not recyclable. Silverware and metal or plastic utensils are also not recyclable in the bin. Some scrap dealers may accept the metal for cash – but keep out of the bin!
To-go containers are usually not recyclable. Brittle plastics, styrofoam, solo cups, and utensils are difficult to recycle and are not accepted. Paper cups and plates are the only exception, but must be clean. Napkins, towels and tissue are not recyclable.
Plastic cleaning containers from window cleaner or disinfectant spray are recyclable. Please remove and toss the lid or nozzle to make sure all chemicals can air out and are completely empty. If hazardous, please triple rinse before recycling.