11 ways to keep trash out of the landfills this holiday season

With the holiday season comes a lot of waste — including discarded food at Thanksgiving or holiday parties and extra trash from package deliveries, boxes and wrapping paper.

According to Wake County, Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

That’s why government officials are sharing the following tips to help reduce waste.

2. Recycle live Christmas trees at select Wake County parks and Convenience Centers starting Dec. 26. Wake County recycled 5,732 trees last year, enough to produce more than 100 tons of mulch, which can be used at parks and trails.

3. Bring reusable shopping bags to grocery stores, farmers markets and retail stores to reduce the number of plastic bags you use.

5. Instead of throwing away the leftover food on your plate, compost it. Here’s how.

6. Flatten cardboard shipping boxes and remove the tape from letters and packages so you can recycle the paper. Photo paper must be trashed.

7. Recycle electronic toys, cell phones and computers at a multi-material facility or at Best Buy, which accepts up to three household items per day for no charge.

8. Recycle Christmas sweaters and clothes you no longer want. Clothes in good condition can be donated to organizations like Goodwill. Do not recycle old sheets, towels or linens, although some shelters may accept these items.

10. Try not to use disposable or single use dishes, napkins, cups and utensils. Most are not biodegrade even if they claim to be.

11. Gift experiences, not items. Tickets to a concert, a spa, or a pottery class are exciting and generate far less waste.

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