How to be recycle savvy during the holidays

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(WCBD) — Charleston County’s Environmental Management Department is asking Lowcountry residents to go green this holiday season by recycling Christmas trees and by following other helpful tips to lessen the environmental impact.Get some tips by watching our holiday recycling rendition of the “The Night Before Christmas”:

To recycle Christmas trees and greenery, follow these instructions:

  • Remove all décor such as lights, tinsel, ornaments, etc.
  • Some municipalities will pick them up curbside, or they can be taken to a convenience center. (The trees picked up curbside are transported to the Bees Ferry Compost Facility to be ground and composted.)
  • Residents who drop off a tree at the Bees Ferry Compost Facility from January 3 – 9 will receive a free bag of compost (one bag per customer).

All paper, including gift wrapping, cardboard and commingled products (plastics #1-7, glass containers and aluminum and steel cans) can also be recycled through the curbside program and at the numerous drop-site locations and convenience centers located throughout the county. The convenience centers also accept used motor oil and cooking oil, electronics, household hazardous materials, batteries, paint, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and holiday light strands.

You’re asked to flatten all cardboard boxes before placing in your recycling cart. If you have oversized boxes, please cut them down to 3 x 3 ft. to ensure they will fit in the recycling truck. Stack extra cardboard next to your recycling cart.

Additional recycling and eco-friendly tips

Decorating:

  • If you buy a live tree, recycle it!
  • Buy LED lights to reduce energy consumption and extend the lifespan of holiday lights.
  • Decorate your tree with household items such as strings of popcorn and berries instead of tinsel.

Gift Giving:

  • Recycle all paper including gift wrap, tissue paper, gift bags, boxes and cardboard. If it tears, recycle it!
  • Buy holiday cards printed on recycled paper. Wrap gifts in newspaper comics or wrapping paper made with recycled content.
  • Avoid purchasing over-packaged items. Drop off packaging material such as Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap at your local shipping store; they will gladly reuse it.
  • Remember to recycle outdated electronics if a new, replacement gadget is received.

Entertaining:

  • Use reusable cups, plates and utensils.
  • Use cloth napkins and tablecloths instead of disposable ones.
  • Recycle at your holiday party.

Cooking:

  • Compost food waste with yard clippings in a backyard home composting program.
  • Purchase only as much food as needed and be sure to store and prepare properly to avoid food waste generation. Not only will this reduce waste, but it will make your food dollars go further.
  • Drop off your used cooking oil at one of Charleston County’s nine staffed convenience centers.

Charleston County Environmental Management Holiday Schedule:

Below are the recycling pick-up schedule and the Environmental Management office’s holiday schedule.

  • Environmental Management Department:
    • Administrative Offices will be closed on Friday, Dec. 23, Monday, Dec. 26 and Tuesday, December 27 in observance of the Christmas holiday and will reopen on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
    • Administrative offices will be closed on Monday, Jan.2 in observance of New Year’s Day.
  • Bees Ferry Landfill
    • The landfill will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Dec. 26.
    • The landfill will resume normal hours on Tuesday, Dec. 27 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • The landfill will be closed on Sunday, Jan. 1 and Monday, Jan. 2.
    • The landfill will resume normal hours on Tuesday, Jan. 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Staffed Convenience Centers
    • Staffed convenience centers will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 through Sunday, Dec. 25.
    • Staffed convenience centers will resume normal hours on Monday, Dec. 26, except the Signal Point Road Convenience Center, which will open on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Staffed centers will be closed on Sun., Jan. 1 and Mon., Jan. 2 for New Year’s Day.
  • Curbside Recycling Collection
    • There will be no residential curbside collection on Mon., Dec. 26 and Mon., Jan. 2. Collection will resume on Tues., Dec. 27 and Tues., Jan. 3 with holiday makeup days occurring on the day following your regularly scheduled pick up day.

For more information on recycling, contact the Charleston County Environmental Management Department at 843-720-7111 or visit recycle.charlestoncounty.org.

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