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Davis Recycling - Zero Waste Together

Holiday Recycling

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Compost Your Cut Christmas Tree!

Remove the lights, ornaments, tinsel and tree stand. Place the tree in your brown-lidded organics cart (the lid must close, so the tree may need to be cut in half) or on the street for collection with other yard materials (trees can’t be larger than 5 feet in any direction). Please note that yard material piles (and Christmas trees) may only be placed on the street 7 days before a scheduled pick-up. More information on yard material collection.


Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week.

Christmas Trees

Have you ever wondered what would be the best environmental choice--a live Christmas tree, a cut tree or an artificial tree? Here's a look at the factors involved in choosing either option.

Tree Type



Live Trees

  • Help clean the air.
  • Save money (only one tree to buy).
  • Reusable. Plant the live tree or donate it to an organization to plant elsewhere.
  • Live trees need care and attention.
  • They may be difficult to move.
  • Not all trees grow well in California’s varied climates. Check your nursery for the best tree for your area.

Cut Trees

  • Easier to care for than live trees.
  • Cut trees give scent and appearance of a live tree.
  • Can be placed at the curb for collection and will be turned into compost.
  • Can be expensive.

Artificial Trees

  • Can be used for many years
  • Saves money and time. No need to buy a tree every year.
  • Artificial trees aren’t recyclable. Make sure your purchase will last a lifetime.

Here are a few tips that can help you reduce holiday waste.


  • For large, hard to wrap gifts, just add a large fancy bow.  Or hide the large unwieldy gift somewhere in the house or yard, and give the person a card with a clue, or a series of clue cards, to lead them to the present.
  • Little gifts can be put unwrapped into Christmas stockings.
  • Instead of using a gift tag or card, hand write the recipient’s name with a colored pen or pencil, or paint it using watercolors. 
  • If you use store-bought wrapping paper, consider choosing one with recycled content (the more post-consumer content, the better). Also look for items decorated with biodegradable soy-based inks.
  • Avoid buying singing greeting cards. They contain batteries and electrical components that have to be recycled separately from paper.
  • Buy beverages in bulk and give party guests reusable drinking cups.
  • Skip the wrapping paper and just use a ribbon or yarn around the box or use a reusable bag.bags
  • Choose rechargeable batteries to power up your new electronics. A rechargeable battery can be recharged about 500 times, so they last longer than regular alkaline batteries. Using rechargeable batteries means reducing waste and saving money! Remember to recycle your alkaline and rechargeable batteries!
  • Support recycling efforts by buying products that are made from recycled materials: wrapping paper, cards, clothing, and more!
  • Whenever possible, buy products in bulk to reduce waste from product packaging.
  • Bring your own bag when shopping. Reduce the number of shopping bags in landfills! Some stores offer a small refund when you bring your own shopping bags.
  • Shop smart. Buy products with the least amount of packaging. Why pay extra for useless, extra packaging materials?


  • Design your own gift-wrap by using grocery or department store bags, or rolls of package wrap. Add decorations such as drawings, stamped patterns, or strings of pine cones. Let kids do the designing.
  • Spruce up brown paper wrapping with pretty bows, which can be saved and used for many years.
  • Save ribbons and bows. They can be reused next year.
  • Save and reuse wrapping paper, gift boxes and bags. They fold easily and take little room to store in a closet or cabinet. boxes
  • Reuse cards as gift tags next year.
  • Turn cards into bookmarks and use them as gifts next year.
  • Save polystyrene packing "peanuts" and bubble wrap for reuse when shipping presents.
  • Bring polystyrene peanuts to Parcel Dispatch PDQ, Postmarks or The UPS Store. These and other shipping companies will accept these materials for reuse.
  • When you receive a brand new computer or TV for Christmas, how do you get rid of the old one?  Many electronics contain hazardous materials and cannot be placed in the garbage. Instead, donate your unwanted electronics to a local charity or thrift store. Check our online Recyclopedia to find locations that accept your used electronics. You can also look in the yellow pages under “Thrift Shops” and “Social and Human Services” for places that may accept items for donation. Electronics that no longer work can be recycled.
  • Re-gift unwanted items.


  • Recycle your wrapping paper, gift cards, cardboard boxes, and paperboard gift boxes with mixed paper recycling.
  • Make recycling easy for guests at holiday parties by placing clearly marked bins for bottles and cans next to the garbage bin.
  • In Davis, aluminum cans, tin/steel cans,rigid plastics #1-#7, and glass are accepted for recycling. Please place them in the appropriate recycling container.

    Just for fun...A Holiday Recycling Tale!

    By, the Regional Recycling Group

    The Grinch hated recycling especially during holiday season.
    Now please don't ask why.  No one quite knows the reason.

    It could be a paper cut once caused him great pain.
    It could be holiday junk mail drove him insane.
    But I think that the most likely reason of all May have been that his recycling bin was two sizes too small.

    Whatever the reason, the junk mail or his small bin,
    The Grinch chose to make everyone more miserable than him.

    I won't pre-rinse: I'll make my recycling smell.
    I'll hide garbage in my leaves so no one can tell.
    I'll put out my papers on days when it rains.
    I'll add in some food waste to cause dirty stains.
    I'll recycle all plastics when only 1's and 2's are accepted.
    I'll do whatever I want. Who cares if I'm corrected.
    I'll throw in some light bulbs, crystal and glass panes.
    They say "glass containers" but they're really all the same.
    And sometimes I'll simply throw my recycling away.
    After all, who is it hurting, if I miss one day.

    The collectors struggled to recycle what they could.
    But the Grinch's recyclables were simply no good.
    Left out on the curb, so full of contamination,
    The overflowing bin sometimes littered.  Oh, the abomination!
    Week after week, the Grinch called the collectors the fools.
    When week after week, he himself, broke the rules.

    Then one day the Grinch happened to see
    That the landfill was filling as fast as could be.
    And the Grinch began to ponder the meaning of this
    "In a landfill how long would his items exist?"

    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
    Maybe recycling, he thought, isn't really a chore.
    Maybe recycling, he thought, means a little bit more.

    In a landfill, the waste items are good for no one
    But in recycling, waste items create jobs and so on.
    It is good to the earth and good for the community
    And he thought that if everyone would recycle in unity
    And buy recycled goods when they shopped at the store
    And recycle correctly and recycle more...

    Then, maybe, perhaps we could make recycling pay
    What happened then...well..in California they say
    That the Grinch's small brain grew three sizes that day.

    And the minute his mind wasn't feeling so maniacal,
    He thought of more ways and more reasons to recycle.
    And he spread these words to his neighbors and kin:
    Recycle correctly and recycle more in your recycling bin.

    And to prove that he was dedicated to completing the caper
    He himself, the Grinch, switched to recycled-content paper.