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Fort Report: Holiday Recyclables

Posted Dec. 21, 2012

It’s the night before Christmas and stockings are hung by the chimney with care, but we’ll soon be greeted by a maelstrom of torn packaging and wrapping paper filling the air.  

So, assuming your kids enjoy playing with the toys they are given more than the box they came in, your garbage cart and the two extra bags Fort Worth will pick up after the holidays probably won’t cut it – unless you recycle.

Being green over the holiday will keep you from seeing red when you get to the big cleanup, so we’re running down the items you might not think of to help you waste less and recycle more. And we called on Fort Worth’s resident recycling guru, Kim Mote, to help us out.

First up, the tough customers: Wrapping paper and greeting cards.

“Well holiday wrapping paper can be problematic. So, we encourage people to recycle the cardboard tube, and that works out very well. But for the paper, a lot of times it is metallic components that make it difficult to recycle. Same thing with [greeting] cards: If it has foil lining, please don’t recycle it, but if it is just paper, let’s go ahead and recycle it. It makes sense to do it that way.”

Next up, the packaging your gifts come in.

“For example this cardboard box has a soccer ball inside of it. Once you remove the soccer ball, you have a cardboard box, just like any other cardboard you have throughout the year. Fold it up, put it in your recycling bin and it is ready to recycle.”

“Rigid plastic containers are the wrapping around the product. When you cut that out – and I know that is very difficult to do – but remove the product and the rigid plastic can be recycled.”

Getting away from the toys, let’s talk about the recyclables from your holiday meal.

“From the kitchen, there’s a lot of stuff we get during a holiday period. Things such as egg nog, such as extra cream … things like that. The cartons can be rinsed out and tossed into the recycling bin. One of my holiday favorites, the cranberry sauce, in the can with the ridges, but when you pull the cranberry sauce out, recycle the can. Also, cookies sometimes come in metal containers and also in plastic containers, and they’re generally recyclable. When you’re through consuming the cookies, put the containers in the recycling bin, unless you intend to reuse them.”

Recycling some of the items we discussed here will help green your Christmas, but be sure to take a minute to look at what you are throwing away and see if there are any recyclables you might have missed. You can find a list of items excepted in Fort Worth’s curbside recycling program at

We wrap up the year next week but, until then, Merry Christmas from the Fort Report and Fort Worth Television.


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