Have a merry, eco-friendly holiday

Republic Services is encouraging residents to go green this holiday

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With a little help and creative thinking, it can also be the most eco-friendly time of the year.

Republic Services is encouraging residents to make the holiday season a greener one by incorporating environmentally-friendly practices.

Jeff Wagner, municipal manager at Republic Services and Covington mayor, said being eco-conscious is a matter of reusing.

“We’re trying to put as little into the landfill as possible, especially Cedar Hill landfill which is getting full,” he said.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates a 25 percent increase in waste — or 1,000 pounds of trash — between Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Nearly 80 percent of what is thrown away could be reproposed.

While those numbers might seem high, there is hope. Wagner said that he’s noticed people are becoming more environmentally conscious each year.

If you want to go green, start with becoming aware of the facts, said

Republic Services are offering residents six tips to give their holidays a green spin.

1. If you’re wrapping gifts, consider reusing materials like old newspapers (or old Renton Reporter issues) to wrap gifts. You can reuse wrapping paper, bows and ribbons for next year. You can also cut up ribbons into small pieces which can be used as confetti.

2. If you’re shipping gifts, don’t forget you can reuse bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts. You can also use shredded paper to stuff a box.

“A lot of the (bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts) can be recycled at your local UPS store,” said Wagner.

3. When you’re opening gifts, keep the recycling bin nearby. Recycle wrapping paper and the tube in which the wrapping paper comes in. Toy packaging can also be recycled, but don’t forget to separate the cardboard from the plastic. Sticky gift tags cannot be recycled, but they are acceptable if they’re attached to an envelope or wrapping paper.

Items that are not recyclable include bubble wrap, cellophane, string, rope, ribbons, bows, batteries, food, clothing, cell phones and other forms of polystyrene foam.

4. If you’re in the market for the new iPhone or latest electronic devices, make sure you take stock of where you can drop off your old device.

“Make sure all of your information is off it first before you send it off,” said Wagner.

Visit http://kingcounty.gov/depts/dnrp/solid-waste/programs/take-it-back/electronics.aspx to see where you can drop off old electronics in King County.

5. When the weather outside is frightfully cold and you’re enjoying a warm cup of latte, don’t forget to empty, clean and dry the paper cup, plastic lid and paper sleep before you toss them into the recycling bin.

6. From Jan. 1 to 12, 2018, Renton residents can put their trees out on their normal schedule organics day for pickup. Make sure to cut your tree up into 4 foot length and to remove all lights and decorations from the tree.

While these tips can help you have a greener, eco-friendly holiday season, these are also practices that can be incorporated into your daily grind, said Tracy Skenandore, communications manager at Republic Services.

”Every day of the year, in your home or even in the workplace, if you make simple, mindful choices to inform yourself and better inform your colleges or the members of your family at your home on the do’s and don’ts of recycling and what you can be recycling the right way, you can almost double your recycling efforts throughout your life,” said Skenandore. “It’s more about improving your habit, and making it a regular consistent habit to recycle the right way.”

“From November to Christmas, everyone is in such a hectic time of the year,” he said. “They’re trying to get things done quickly and they have little time and everybody is so busy, so they’re grabbing the first thing they come across. As time goes, especially in the Seattle area, we’ve become very environmentally conscious… people in the Puget Sound have been recycling more and more every year.”

For residents curious about trash and recycling pickup schedule, Republic Services will not be picking trash on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Pickup schedule for those two weeks will be moved one day. This means if you have a pick up on Wednesday, pick up during those two weeks will be on Thursday. Visit http://local.republicservices.com/site/joplin/Documents/Holiday-Schedule-2017.pdf for more information.