Don’t Waste The Holidays

The volume of household waste in the United States increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day — about 1 million extra tons! So, when you’re making your holiday to-do list, be sure to add "reduce, reuse and recycle".


  • Shop thrift stores, antique malls or online for pre-owned d├ęcor you want, donate/sell what you don’t.
  • Recycle your old or broken holiday lights at locations throughout the metro area.
  • Make handmade decorations that are re-useable, recyclable or compostable.
  • Take good care of your decorations and they will last many years.


  • Simplify the Holidays offers SoKind, an alternative gift registry which allows you to create customizable wish lists and “give lists” focused less on stuff and more on family, friends and fun.
  • The More Fun Less Stuff Catalog, is an alternative gift catalog full of fun, low-cost, and non-material gift ideas.
  • Give gifts of time, experience, and memories with the Printable Coupon Book, an easy-to-use template that you can print out, customize, and give to family and friends.
  • Shop secondhand at thrift stores, antique malls, or online: eBayEtsy, and OfferUp
  • Shop local online: Shop Local KC, Made in KC  or KCSourceLink.
  • Recycle and reuse the packaging from your online purchases (boxes, bubble wrap, air pillows, etc.)


  • Send electronic cards or videos.
  • Recycle old cards. Do not recycle cards that have:newspaper-wrap-small.jpg
    • Plastic components
    • Ribbons
    • Glitter
    • Make sound.

Gift Wrap

  • Reuse last year's boxes, tissue paper, bows and ribbons.
  • Use recyclable wrapping such as old posters, maps or paper grocery bags.
  • Wrap gifts with attractive cloth or a reusable bag.


  • Use durable tableware: dishes, cups, utensils, napkins, tablecloths, etc.
  • Recycle cans, plastic bottles and containers, and glass.
  • Compost food waste.

Clean Up

  • Recycle paper gift wrap (no shiny or foil types) curbside or at your nearest recycling center.
  • Compost pumpkins, gourds and poinsettias. You can also keep poinsettias as houseplants (they won't bloom again, but have attractive foliage).
  • "Treecycle" your holiday tree, wreaths and garland (natural only). ***Check back soon for a current list of drop-off locations***
  • Recycle packaging and cards.Recycle More, Recycle Better flier. Pictures materials that can be recycled curbside or drop-off, and materials that can be recycled through other means, and that cannot be recycled in our area.
  • Save boxes, tissue paper, bows and ribbons for next year.
  • Donate gently used items to charities or thrift stores.
  • Reuse or recycle your popcorn, cookie and candy tins. They can go in your recycling bin.

To bin, or not to bin? Now there's no question!

As you plan to recycle all you can this holiday season, use this handy flier that lists what you can and can’t put in your curbside recycling bin.

Available for download in the following sizes:

For more information, email or call (816) 474-8326.