What can, and can't, be recycled this holiday season

Dec 23, 2012

Central New Yorkers make the most trash over the holiday season, which only makes recycling all the more important this time of year, says one of the region's recycling agencies.

OCCRA, the agency that handles Onondaga County's recycling program, says it is a busy time of year for them.

"Looking back at last years numbers, we found a five percent increase in recycling from November to December," says OCCRA spokeswoman Kristen Lawton. She expects the same this year.

OCCA says the big thing to make sure gets recycled is paper products; things like boxes, wrapping paper, catologues and cards.

"You're probably getting a slew of catologues and magazines in the mail right now. Those can go in the recycle bin," notes Lawton. "And any packaging, gift bags, wrapping paper; basically any paper product that isn't metallic can go in your blue bin."

There is one common item you might toss in the recycle bin, that you shouldn't: tissue paper.

"Believe it or not, that goes in your trash," Lawton explains. "It is a paper product, so it's a little counterintuitive, but the fibers in tissue paper are so short they can't be recycled into something new. So your best bet is to put that in the trash."

Lawton adds that one other item that can be recycled comes from the kitchen: aluminum foil, or pie plates and other aluminum-made pans can go in the blue bin, but remove any food residue first.