Holiday time is the right time to recycle in Delaware

December 27, 2012

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds Delawareans that holiday time is the right time to trim the “wasteline” while helping the environment - by recycling all those extra mail order boxes, gift-wrapped packages, tags and cards. It’s easier than ever to recycle these holiday items and other discards through Delaware’s Universal Recycling program and keep them out of the state’s landfills.

The new streamlined form of recycling in Delaware’s Universal Recycling program - single stream - makes holiday season recycling easier because no sorting is needed: Simply toss all recyclables into the recycling container for curbside pickup. Single-stream recycling has already been implemented in the state’s single-family residential homes and multi-family units are next in line to join the program in January.

A new comprehensive “How to Recycle” guide prepared by DNREC and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority is available at and The guide’s centerfold is a handy list and images of items that can be recycled in Delaware.

Here are some helpful tips for recycling this season as well as for reducing and reusing materials for the holidays next year:

• Recycle unwanted boxes, wrapping paper (without foil backing), card stock type gift tags, cards and envelopes along with all the holiday catalogues and promotional mail. Tissue paper cannot be recycled.

• Recycle the Christmas tree. Trees must be free of all ornaments and other trimmings as well as tree stands and other stabilizing materials. Christmas trees are no longer accepted at Delaware State Parks, but can be taken, for free collection, to DNREC-run or approved yard waste drop-off sites. To recycle a tree, contact the waste collector or find a list of drop-off locations at:

• Collect and reuse boxes, ribbons, bows and other gift decorations for next year.
• Save used Christmas cards to cut up as gift tags for next year.

• Use dishes, silverware and cloth napkins instead of disposable utensils, Styrofoam and paper products.

More information on recycling in Delaware can be found at or by calling DNREC’s Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances at 302-739-9403.

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