The holidays can ruin even the best recycler’s intentions. Every day, more catalogs arrive in the mail. Shopping for those perfect gifts results in extra bags, tissue and boxes.

Holiday grocery shopping, cooking and baking produces even more recyclables that tend to be tossed in the trash during these hectic times. Then, when the holidays are over, there’s another cycle of paper to deal with – wrapping paper, more boxes, greeting cards.

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Paper is so easily recycled that it doesn’t make sense to throw it away. Yet, during the holidays, our trash volume increases due to all this extra paper.

Drop off your recyclable paper at the Champion and SMART bins located throughout our neighborhood. Keep in mind that both newspaper and mixed paper are accepted in the same bin, so there is no need to separate.

Just fill up a grocery sack or cardboard box and drop it off every couple of days or so. If you don’t currently recycle paper, you’ll be surprised at how quickly it accumulates.

Make it a habit to recycle all the paper you can – including newspaper, cardboard, junk mail, catalogs, magazines, brochures, sales advertisements, chipboard boxes (cereal, crackers), and computer paper.

Recycled paper gift wrap and cards are available in stores, and many manufacturers donate part of the proceeds to environmental causes – so buy recycled.

You can also reduce the amount of gift wrap you use by choosing gift bags, fabric, tins and other containers for wrapping gifts: They’ll be used again and again.

Gift ideas include memberships to environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society and World Wildlife Fund. You can also shop Paperbacks Plus, Half Price Books, and other used bookstores for the ultimate in quality “recycled” gift items.

If your household enjoys cut Christmas trees during the holidays, don’t forget to support the City’s tree recycling program. Each year, the City collects trees, which are chipped and used as mulch for park areas.

This season, the drop-off stations will be open Dec.26-Jan. 8. Locations will be determined during the last week of November, but should include Fair Park’s Garden Center and Flagpole Hill. The City will advertise the locations in December.

Even with this successful recycling program, Christmas trees will inundate the parkways after the holidays. Many citizens are unable or simply unwilling to take their tree to a recycling location.

A tree pickup program would be a good idea as a community project for Scout troops or neighborhood organizations.

Call the Recycling Office at 670-4475 for details about tree recycling.

Leaf Pickup Update

Hopefully you’re using leaves in your compost pile and for mulch on your own landscaping. If you have more leaves than you could ever use, bag them and put them out for the monthly brush pickup.

As of this writing, the City will collect bagged leaves with the brush pickup during the heavy raking and bagging season. The leaves and brush are used for the Sanitation Department’s compost program and ultimately used as mulch for street median areas.