December 11, 2008

Reducing holiday waste is easy

York Region encourages residents to be waste conscious this holiday season

NEWMARKET Spread some holiday spirit this season by thinking green.  The Regional Municipality of York encourages residents to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost during the holidays with these simple tips:




·         Get online – Get in touch with your loved ones without creating waste.  Go online and send paperless        e-cards.   Use last year’s Christmas cards as gift tags.


·         Eliminate catalogues – Businesses deliver large catalogues to homes in the holiday season.  If you don’t want one, call the business and cancel or find out if an online option is available.


·         Give less as more – Give gifts that come in very little packaging or are packaging-free, such as event tickets, gift cards, memberships, donations to charities or YRT/Viva transit passes.


·         Host smart – When throwing a holiday party, offer guests real dishes and silverwear rather than disposables.  Rent or borrow extra dishes and silverwear if you don’t have enough.  Plan meals wisely to reduce the amount of leftovers and unnecessary food waste.




·         Bring a bag – Bring your own reusable bags when shopping.  If you must use a plastic bag, be sure to take advantage of retailer and grocer plastic bag Take-Back recycling programs. Give reusable bags as gifts.


·         Get creative – Use items such as tea towels, newspapers, boxes, magazines, photographs and posters to wrap gifts. Give an unwrapped gift in a reusable bag.


·         Save it – Save bubble wrap, styrofoam and boxes and reuse for packaging fragile or mailed gifts. Save tissue paper for reuse.


·         Recharge – Give the gift of reusable batteries to reduce battery waste.  Properly dispose of old batteries at a Household Hazardous Waste depot in York Region (visit for locations and hours).


·         Give back – Donate last year’s gifts or unwanted items to your local charity.


Recycle and compost


·         Bring it inside - Place a recycling bin in the room where presents will be opened and recycle as you go.


·         Put it in the Bin – After holiday meals, make sure leftover food is disposed of in your Green Bin.


·         Be sure it belongs - These holiday items are recyclable and CAN be put in the Blue Box:

·         Non-metallic wrapping paper and tissue paper (flattened), greeting cards, envelopes, gift cards and tags

·         Cardboard packaging and boxes (with plastic wrap removed) and calendars (coils removed)

·         Aluminum foil, plates, trays and plastic bakery containers (e.g. muffin trays, cupcake trays)


    These holiday items are NOT recyclable and should be reused or placed in the garbage:

·         Shiny metallic-coated wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, beads, string, garland and tinsel

·         Rigid formed plastic packaging (from electronics and toys), bubble wrap and Styrofoam


For more information on York Region’s waste management programs, please visit


For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit


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Media Contact:         Kim MacGillivray, Communications Specialist, York Region

                                 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251-6412


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