RethinkWaste Holiday Show Follow-Up

RethinkWaste held a Holiday Show on December 11, 2020. This page provides the webinar recording, presentation slides, links to more resources, and all of the questions submitted by attendees. If you have additional questions, fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

We know the holidays are usually a pretty wasteful time so we put on this informative webinar to give tips on how to reduce waste this holiday season. We also spread some cheer with waste-related carols and had a fun and informative round of trivia.

We hope you find the following resources helpful in your personal journey to reduce waste this holiday season.

To view a recording of the webinar and the live Q&A, click the recording below.

1. Where does tinsel go?

Ideally you can reuse it and keep it in your decorations box to reuse every year, but otherwise, it has to be landfilled.

2. Are Christmas lights recyclable?

Yes! But NOT in your regular recycle cart or bin. Christmas lights contain precious materials that can still be recycled, you just have to bring them to certain drop-off locations that take them back. Places like GreenCitizen (located in Burlingame), Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware all accept string lights. You can even consider donating them to thrift stores, if they are still in good working condition.

3. What do you think about using all the little scraps of wrapping paper? You can tape the scraps together to wrap a gift. It uses a lot of tape, but wastes less paper.

Tough question! Since those scraps of wrapping paper can be recycled, and the tape cannot, we recommend simply recycling those little scraps rather than using lots of tape to put the scraps together.

4. Is glue more environmentally friendly than tape? Could you use water-soluble glue to decoupage a package with small leftover scraps of paper?

Another tough question, because it can be difficult to clearly distinguish which is more environmentally friendly. When it comes to either using glue or tape, there is probably a little bit of a difference in the environmental impact, but there is nothing that leads us to believe one alternative is much better than the other. If choosing between the two option, use whichever you are comfortable with. But to really lower your environmental impact, we recommend minimizing your use of both glue and tape.

5. Do you have any zero waste ideas for gifts for pets?

One zero waste idea that works great for pets is homemade treats! We recommend whipping up a special batch of treat made with extra love for the pets in your family.

6. What can I do with my holiday tree?

For residents that live in a single-family household, remove all the tinsel, lights, decorations, and stands from your holiday tree, and then you can leave it next to your green Compost Cart and Recology will pick it up for you between January 2 and January 31 on your regular collection day. Make sure if your tree is larger than 8 feet to cut it in half before leaving it next to your green Compost Cart.

For residents that live in apartments or condos, your property manager has to arrange for collection of holiday trees so feel free to remind them to schedule it!

If you don’t live in the RethinkWaste Service Area, check with your local hauler to know your collection schedule.

7. If my regular collection day falls on Christmas or New Year’s, when will my waste get picked up?

There’s no collection services on Christmas or New Year’s and collection will be moved one day to Saturday 12/26 and Saturday 1/2. Regular collection will resume the week after New Year’s Day.

If you have more questions, fill out the form below!

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