Clark County’s Solid Waste Education and Outreach team encourages the community to celebrate this holiday season by taking steps to reduce waste and properly dispose of items that cannot go in curbside garbage or recycling bins.
Reducing holiday waste
Holiday meals: Avoid over-buying at the grocery store by taking stock of what’s already available in the cupboards and using the “Guest-imator” online tool to determine how much food is needed based on the number of guests. Prevent food waste by making to-go plates for guests, using leftovers to create new meals and composting food scraps.
Table settings: Cut down on disposables when hosting gatherings and instead use reusable dinnerware. Paper plates, cups, napkins and plastic cutlery end up in landfills.
Holiday decorations: Rather than buying new holiday decorations for upcoming celebrations, find new-to-you items at thrift stores, consignment shops or online “buy-nothing” groups.
Gifts: Purchase experiences like horseback riding lessons or musical performances, memberships to museums, gift cards to local restaurants or recycled goods from local vendors. Consider wrapping gifts in more sustainable alternatives to wrapping paper, such as recyclable newspaper, brown paper bags or scarfs.
Disposing of holiday waste
The holiday season often means more garbage and more types of waste. Clark County’s Solid Waste team encourages the community to ensure proper disposal of items that cannot go in curbside garbage or recycling carts.
Batteries: Take batteries to designated disposal sites; do not place them in the garbage or recycling bins. Several retail stores across Clark County now offer free battery disposal. Batteries that end up in household garbage or inside of recycling bins can explode and pose a significant fire risk.
Block foam: To recycle block foam, drop it off at Earth Friendly Recycling in Vancouver or become a member of a subscription specialty recycling service, such as RecyclePlus or Ridwell. Block foam can also be placed in curbside garbage carts, but it cannot go in curbside recycling carts.
Air pillows, bubble wrap, bubble mailers and plastic packaging: These plastic film products can be placed in bins for recycling at many local grocery stores and all three Clark County transfer stations. Plastic film cannot go in curbside recycling carts because it can get tangled in the machinery that sorts recyclables.
String lights: Holiday string lights can be taken to a specialty recycler or should be placed in the garbage. Find specialty recyclers at recyclingdoneright.com or on the RecycleRight app. Holiday string lights cannot go in curbside recycling carts.
Gift wrap: Gift wrap with non-paper decorations, such as glitter, foil and plastic elements, should be placed in the garbage as the decorative pieces are not recyclable. Gift wrap that does not have glitter, foil or other non-paper decorations can be placed in curbside recycling carts.
To find disposal options for hundreds of other items, visit re cyclingdoneright.com, or download the free RecycleRight app. For more holiday waste-reduction tips, visit the Clark County Green Neighbors website, clarkgreenneighbors.org/en/holi day-waste-reduction.