CHICAGO — Come Sunday night, in households across Chicago, all that will remain of weeks of Christmas preparation is a mountain of gift wrap and boxes.
For anyone with the energy to sort what's trash and what's recyclable — keeping in mind that reuse is the greenest option — here's a list of do's and don'ts, according to the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation:
• DO recycle gift bags, unless loaded with foil or ribbons. Remove any handles.
• DO recycle gift and packing boxes, but break them down first. Scraps of tape are OK.
• DO recycle your live Christmas tree, beginning Jan. 7, at Park District locations to be announced.
• DO recycle old electronics — NOT in the blue cart, but at the city's Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility, 1150 N. North Branch St.
• DON'T recycle Christmas tree lights.
• DON'T recycle wrapping paper if it's made of anything resembling foil or decorated with glitter (think bling). DO recycle gift wrap that's clearly made from plain old paper (think bling-free). Scraps of tape on the paper are acceptable.
• DON'T recycle cellophane found in gift baskets and bags.
• DON'T recycle ribbons or bows. They create problems with sorting equipment at the recycling processing center. These items are perfect candidates for reuse instead, year after year in some cases, especially if made from fabric.
Keep in mind that trash and recycling won't be collected Monday or Jan. 2. Households on a Monday schedule should set their bins out Tuesday.
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