~ February 13th 2023 – Blog by UCRRA Recycling Educator, Tanesia White~

Don’t go breaking the Earth’s heart! More than 124 Million Adults in the US celebrate Valentine’s Day and what they gift/consume generates more carbon emissions that driving around the world 3,993 times. Instead of running to the store or florist for last-minute gifts, be intentional and thoughtful. The earth will thank you!

Low-waste ways to gift with love:

  1. Consider the item’s lifecycle when giving a gift: Is this something this person needs? How long does this item last? Can I find this item secondhand? Is there a more sustainable version of this gift?
  2. Upcycled Craft: Repurpose your old jars into a candle holder or vase.
  3. Create a homemade treat: Not only is a homemade treat delicious, but your loved ones will value the time and effort you put into their gift.
  4. Give the gift of experience: cooking class, dance lesson, art class, spa day, and more!
  5. Choose plantable or recyclable greeting cards: Cards covered in foil, glitter, singing, or adornment are not recyclable!

Many of the gifts we receive on Valentine’s Day are not recyclable. When in doubt, ask! If you have curbside collection, contact your hauler; if you use a Town Transfer Station, please see our Dual-Stream Recycling Guide. If you’d like to know what Valentine’s Day items are recyclable, read on for tips from our previous v-day blog:

~ February 2nd 2022 – Blog by UCRRA Office Manager Melinda France ~ 

Always Recycle These :

  • Old Greeting Cards or other paper Valentines Day cards
  • Wine bottles – Remove and discard the cork or search for a local cork recycling program.
  • Cardboard – Boxes must be empty, dry, and flattened. Remove any inner packaging.
  • Gift wrapping paper and tissue paper – Generally is acceptable in the recycling bin as long as paper it not metallic, glittery, etc.
  • Plastic packing pillows (deflated) and bubble wrap can be recycled with plastic bags and film plastic at the grocery/retail stores.

Please do not Wish-cycle These:

  • Valentines Day Balloons
  • Candy wrappers
  • Greeting cards that play music through microchips
  • Stuffed animals – do not belong in the recycling bin, but can be donated to a charitable organization or recycled in some clothing/shoe drop-off bins.
  • Chocolate boxes with molded plastic trays inserted into the box. If you can remove the inner tray, then the cardboard box itself is recyclable. Discard the plastic tray.
  • Miscellaneous-shaped rigid plastic molds (such as plastic packaging that would hold a chocolate egg, chocolate bunny, etc. inside a paper/cardboard package)
  • The cellophane-like material that’s used to wrap a bouquet of flowers is NOT recyclable in curbside recycling OR in film plastic recycling programs. If you’re not sure what plastic bags or flexible film plastics are recyclable, try “the stretch test.” If you pull and stretch the material and it does not expand/stretch, it’s not recyclable with other plastic bags and films.
  • Ribbons and bows are BEAUTIFUL but are considered ‘tanglers’ that can jam recycling equipment. They are not recyclable but can easily be REUSED!
  •  Expanded polystyrene foam and packing peanuts should be disposed of in the trash or you can ask if anyone could REUSE them to ship packages to family and friends.
  • Flowers (dead) should not go in the recycling bin but can be composted! To learn more about local composting options please click here.