Out with the old, in with the new

Sally Cole
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Christmas recycling starts with a plan

Christmas Tree

’Twas the week after Christmas and all through the house,

The blue bags were bursting, the compost bin attracting a mouse.

The holiday season, with its focus on giving, creates many additional items to sort through.

Let’s say you’ve received new sheets as well a toaster for Christmas. But you already have a cupboard full of old linen and a cupboard full of appliances.

Before you start tossing out the old to make room for the new, stop and take inventory, says Merie Surkan, manager of public relations and marketing at Island Waste Watch and Management.

“The first thing you need to do is ask yourself, ‘Can the old items be reused?’ If so, they should be used before they’re discarded,” she says.

For example, old towels, sheets and flannelette blankets are lovingly received at vet clinics as well as the P.E.I. Humane Society.

“And there are other charities that will accept the secondhand appliances,” she says.

But if, for some reason, they can’t be reused, they can be recycled.

“Old toasters go into blue plastic bag number two, as do the kettles and the cutlery,” says Surkan, adding that while these rules seem obvious, sense, people often overlook them.

“The biggest mistake people make at Christmas is putting wrapping paper in a blue bag. It’s been recycled so many times, the fibres are too short to use,” she says.

However, wrapping paper can be composted.

“Paper is a great source of carbon. Spread carefully, it helps food items from sticking to the cart,” she says.

Here are some additional tips:

• Once residents have determined whether items can be re-used, made into something different in your home, or recycled through Waste Watch program, they can be moved along.

• Turkey dinner can also be recycled.  Surkan debones turkey to make turkey stock and soup for later use.

• Surkan also freezes unused turkey as well as everything she needs for another dinner.“So all I need to do is grab a bag, pop it into a slow cooker on simmer or low and supper’s ready when I get home,” she says.

• In other news, Christmas trees are collected in early January each year. Ornaments and tinsel need to be removed and no tree bags should be used.

• Take old batteries into any major grocery store for recycling. This service is free, a partnership with the stores and IWMC.

Organizations: Island Waste Watch, P.E.I. Humane Society

Geographic location: Turkey

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Recent comments

  • don
    December 31, 2013 - 09:37

    yes out with the OLD ghiz government, basil and his yes boy deputy. that would be the greatest new years gift of all time.