During the holiday season, Massachusetts’ residents produce about 25 percent more trash compared to any other time of year. To trim down on all that waste – and save you time, money, energy, and stress during this busy time of year – the Melrose Department of Public Works (DPW) offers some simple tips and events to “be green” this holiday season:
- Buy green.
- Purchase recycled-content gifts and/or non-material gifts.
- Consider the life expectancy and frequency of use of the gifts you purchase.
- About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy rechargeable batteries. Melrose DPW, as well as many stores, have drop-off bins for the safe recycling of old batteries.
- Thousands of paper and plastic shopping bags end up as litter or in landfills every year. Reduce waste by remembering to bring your reusable tote bag while shopping. Support the Melrose Recycling Committee’s single use bag initiative!
- Choose green wrapping.
- Decorative boxes, gift bags, and tins can be reused, instead of disposable wrapping paper (much of which is not recyclable).
- Use old calendar images, paper bags, or newspaper to wrap your gift and then use a reusable ribbon, bow, or beads to decorate it.
- Green your holiday card.
- Use old holiday cards or old calendar images to create new cards by cutting the picture off and using it to make a new card or a gift tag.
- If you buy cards, find ones made of recycled content.
- If so inclined, you can save paper by sending E-cards, which is gaining in popularity.
- Recycle as much as possible. This year Melrose DPW will be hosting a post-holiday recycling event at the City Yard on Saturday, January 7th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. where all residents can recycle their:
- cardboard boxes
- bottles, cans and other “commingled” plastic and aluminum recyclables
- Styrofoam® packing blocks (white polystyrene foam ONLY, all tape removed, no packing peanuts or foodware; these will be inspected and sorted into a specific container)
- wrapping paper (no foil or tissue paper)
- Christmas trees (free of all decorations)
- old TVs and home office/entertainment electronics (laptops & screens cost $20)
- metal goods ($25)
- fluorescent bulbs (fee for large quantities)
- Save gas and reduce air pollution. Spare the air, and commit to minimizing your car use whenever possible. Take public transportation, carpool with friends, or walk when you go shopping or to holiday parties. You’ll be rewarded with both more exercise and cleaner air.
- “Tree-cycle” after the holidays. Melrose offers 2 weeks of curbside pickup of Christmas trees starting the first week of the new year, as well as drop-off at the City Yard during open hours Jan. 3 – 13. Trees are chipped and then recycled into compost and mulch.
Stay tuned to the DPW’s Melrose Recycles Blog (https://melroserecycles.wordpress.com/) for details on upcoming events and more.
Melrose DPW thanks MassDEP for providing some of the tips above. MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources in Massachusetts.