What holiday items can be recycled?

Dec 20, 2021 at 10:00 am by Cynthialynn Jones


Rutherford County Solid Waste is advising residents of schedule adjustments for the upcoming holidays while encouraging mindfulness of recycling options.

“Rutherford County Solid Waste respectfully requests that citizens recycle as much cardboard, paper, and other recyclables as possible,” said Director Bishop Wagener. “Recycling is a high priority for Rutherford County because it helps reduce the amount of materials that get placed in the landfill.”

All Rutherford County convenience centers and the recycling center on Haley Road will be closed Friday, Dec. 24 and Saturday, Dec. 25 and Friday, Dec. 31 and Saturday, Jan. 1.

Convenience Centers will reopen on Sunday, Dec. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 2 with normal Sunday disposal rules in place.

This applies to household garbage only and will not include bulk items. Bulk item collection will resume at convenience centers on the Tuesdays following the holiday closures.

“We ask that our citizens break down cardboard boxes prior to arriving at the centers,” Bishop stated. “This kind act helps to speed up the process for everyone during the high volume disposal activity following the holidays.”

What holiday items CAN be recycled?

For starters, real (live) Christmas trees will be accepted at the City of Murfreesboro’s Solid Waste mulching facility located at 4765 Florence Road during regular hours of operation. For more information, call 615-893-3681.

Plain paper and cardboard are accepted at all Rutherford County Convenience and Recycling Center locations. Again, Wagener recommends separating these items and making sure that all cardboard is broken down and flattened as much as possible. Find your nearest location at solidwaste.rutherfordcountytn.gov.

What holiday items CANNOT be recycled? 

  • Wrapping paper, cards, and/or gift bags that are glossy, glittery, or have foil on them
  • Tissue paper
  • Foil pans (aluminum cooking pans)
  • Ribbons and/or bows
  • Bubble wrap and/or bubble mailing envelopes
  • Dirty or soiled paper plates, napkins, cups, and other food containers

Helpful tips to cut down on waste during the holidays (courtesy of Urban Green Lab and Nashville Recycling) :

  • Instead of presents, consider gifting your loved ones an experience (museums, fitness classes, trips, etc.) or donate to a non-profit or family in need in their honor.
  • Make your own gifts out of recyclable or reuse items.
  • Wrap your gifts in plain paper, butcher paper, newspaper, or in fabric bags.
  • Use reusable plates, utensils, and cups and have family members bring their own containers.
  • Have your guests drink chilled tap water instead of offering bottled waters.
  • Provide clearly labeled bins for recycling, composting, and true trash.
  • Take leftovers to local donations sites, but call ahead to make sure they can accept it.
  • Save your decorations and wrapping paper to use next year!

“These all seem like pretty small things to do,” said Wagener, “but if we all do just one or two of these, we can really make a huge impact on reducing waste in our county through the holidays.”

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