December 21, 2010
Media Release

 Reduce your holiday waste this season

York Region encourages residents to think green and be waste conscious
NEWMARKET - The Regional Municipality of York reminds residents to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost this holiday season. 
Residents can use these helpful guidelines to keep holiday waste out of the trash:
• 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 package-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 duplicate or unwanted items to your local charity.
Recycle and compost
• Bring it inside ??" Place a Blue Box 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.
• Take advantage of free tree pick-up - Once the holiday is over, place your live Christmas tree at the curb for collection by your local municipality.
o Be sure to remove all ornaments and decorations and do not place your tree at the curb in a plastic bag
o Check your collection calendar for details on collection dates in your area
• Be sure it belongs - These holiday items are recyclable and CAN be put in the Blue Box:
o Non-metallic wrapping paper and tissue paper (flattened), greeting cards, envelopes, gift cards and tags
o Cardboard packaging and boxes (with plastic wrap removed) and calendars (coils removed)
o Aluminum foil, plates and trays and plastic bakery containers (e.g. muffin trays, cupcake trays)
• These holiday items are NOT accepted in the Blue Box and should be reused or placed in the garbage
o Shiny metallic-coated wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, beads, string, garland and tinsel
o Rigid formed plastic packaging (from electronics and toys), bubble wrap and Styrofoam (Styrofoam can be recycled at the McCleary Court Community Environmental Centre located at 130 McCleary Court in the City of Vaughan)
For more information on York Region’s waste management programs and a list of holiday drop-off locations, dates and hours, please visit
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit
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Media Contact: Michelle McEwan, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905-830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905-251-6412

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