Holiday Recycling Resources, Wrapped Up With A (Recycled) Bow

Recycle, recycle, recycle. It’s a mantra of sorts for so many of us here at 5 Minutes for Going Green, and as festive celebrating with family and friends has most likely already begun, you are about to become busier than ever.

But don’t worry, we’ve got all your post-holiday recycling needs covered, so you can spend less time worrying how to recycle and more time circled around that last cheese log. (Don’t worry about that cheese log, either; remember, resolutions start next year.)

Step One: No recyclable left behind.

In other words, figure out what, exactly, you have to recycle and if it can be recycled.

In addition to the more commonly known recyclables (cardboard/paper, plastic, glass), you can (and should!) recycle your Christmas tree, your old holiday decorations, ornaments (especially glass ornaments), wrapping paper and bags, and old toys recently replaced by new toys.

For a thorough list of other less obvious recyclable items check out Items You Never Thought To Recycle, a comprehensive article geared toward that topic specifically. I think you’ll be surprised by some of the items that make his list.

Step Two: Figure out, where, locally, your closest recycling centers are for the specific items you are needing to recycle.

Earth 911 has a fantastic central search engine for local recycle centers geared toward specific recyclables in your area, and their site is packed full of helpful information, and quite easy to navigate, too.

Specifically, you can find local tree recyclers, places to take discarded toys, ornaments, and lights to be recycled, and even composting tips and tricks.

Step Three: Make recycling work harder (and pay off) for you.

Times are tight and time is most definitely money. Here are four viable ways to earn cash for your recyclable items (via TreeHugger). Add the money received to your rainy day fund, or give back to your favorite charity!

Option 1: Cell For This company lists hundreds of cell phones on their website that they will buy back from you. All you have to do is find yours in their online listings, and they will send you a postage paid box. When you send the phone and charger back, the company will verify the unit and then send you a check. Cell for Cash then refurbishes the phone and sells them in developing countries. Please note: older models don’t qualify for cash payment. If you have an older model that doesn’t make their list, you recycle them at electronics stores around town, or donate them to a local shelter. Cell phones are full of toxic chemicals, and considered hazardous waste in California, so whatever you do, don’t simply trash them.

Option 2: Gazelle This company, similar to Cell for Cash, will also pay you for your old electronics. Find your item on their website, and they will ship you a box and cash when they verify the item, or they can pay you via PayPal; with Gazelle you also have the option of donating the money to charity. Can’t find your item on the list? They are still willing to do a price quote if you submit the item name to them. Gazelle refurbishes and then sells the electronics, or recycles them when the items are broken beyond repair.

Option 3: Cash for Clunkers This option is still in the works, but if and when finished will allow you to sell your old polluting car, where it is then scrapped for parts and taken off the market. This program is currently being tested in Texas, California, and British Columbia.

Option 4: RecycleBank This organization will actually give you gift certificates for food and pharmacy items just for recycling the things you might already be recycling: glass, paper and plastic, no sorting needed. Homeowners are given a bin with a computer chip, then when the recycling truck comes by, it weighs the bin and logs how much you recycled. This program is now available in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Nebraska, Maine, and New Jersey, and there are plans to expand to Minneapolis and Dallas soon. RecycleBank has seen an increase of 100% to 1000% in recycling rates across neighborhoods where the program is offered.

Happy! Recycling to all, and to all a good night.

An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Read more about all things Kerri Anne, including her renewed commitment to green living and her affinity for talking in movie quotes at

One Response to Holiday Recycling Resources, Wrapped Up With A (Recycled) Bow
  1. Greg
    January 16, 2009 | 9:32 pm

    Nice one, babe ! :)