Be EverGREEN this Holiday Season!

How to be EverGREEN this Holiday Season!

Follow these 7 tips for a more environmentally friendly holiday season!

1. Use LED Lights and Recycle Your Old Lights!

LED lights use 80% less energy than incandescent holiday lights.  They’re also more durable and can last up to 10 times longer!  Learn where to recycle your old or broken holiday lights here:  (updated December 2022)


2. Wrap Gifts Right!

Instead of buying wrapping paper, get creative and use what you already have:  newspaper, comics, maps, calendars and fabric are great gift concealers.  Or have kids color/decorate paper bags as a fun project!  Instead of bows or ribbon, make a tag for the gift from the wrapping paper you’re using or get crafty by cutting up old holiday cards.  Save any bows, ribbon or string you receive to reuse next year for gifts!  Need to buy wrapping paper anyway? Buy paper made with recycled content AND make sure also recyclable (no metallic, foil-like or heavily glittered paper please).

3. Choose Recyclable Cards!

Did you know that the 2.65 billion holiday cards sold in the U.S. each year could fill a football stadium 10 stories high?  E-cards are a great alternative for spreading cheer without making waste and save you green!  If you do send cards select cards free of ribbon, plastic and glitter so they’re recyclable.  Bonus: , Buy ones that are made with recycled content too!  Encourage the recipient to recycle the card!

4. Ditch The Disposables! 

Instead of disposable tableware, serve food on real, reusable dishware.  Borrow dish sets and utensils from friends or family or go thrift store shopping for a special holiday set.  Decorate the table with gourds and squash, bowls full of apples or other seasonal fruits and veggies that can be eaten or composted.  To prevent food waste, ask friends and family to bring containers for leftovers or stock up on containers you can give away.  Always avoid Styrofoam for leftovers!  Styrofoam is not recyclable and can release harmful chemicals overtime.

5. Bring Your Own Bag! 

Reusable bags aren’t just for the grocery store!  Keep larger bags in your car or pouch bags in your purse to use when holiday shopping.  If you have plastic shopping bags, remember you can recycle them at the grocery store along with your other plastic bags and wraps.

6. Give Rechargeable Batteries!

Giving a gift that requires batteries?  Go the extra step and buy rechargeable batteries and a battery charger to go along with it.  Rechargeable batteries are cheaper over time and more readily recyclable than single use batteries!

7. Recycle Your Tree!

City residents can bring a bare tree to any of these three parks to be mulched after Christmas through the second week of January.  For complete instructions see the Refuse Division’s Christmas Tree Recycling page

Forest Park: Lower Muny Opera parking lot

O’Fallon Park: Recreation Complex (YMCA), Southwest corner of parking lot

Carondelet Park: Grand and Holly Hills, area near gate and mulch piles


  • Sharon Worts says:

    Can old CfL lights be brought to these sites for disposable.

  • Rebecca Rennard says:

    It sounds like regular xmas wrapping paper is not recyclable; is that right?

    Also is tissue paper recyclable?

    thank you

    • Elysia Musumeci says:

      Sorry for the confusion! Regular wrapping paper is recyclable. But the kind that is heavy with glitter or that metallic, foil-y type kind is not. Tissue paper isn’t recyclable because the fibers are too small at that point to be further processed. We have updated the post to reflect this. Thank you!

  • Bridget C says:

    Why are the blur recycling trucks being used for trash?
    Refuse department says regular trucks are picking up recycling bins because of contamination. But every blue truck being used for trash is thoroughly tainting the inside of those trucks?

    • Elysia Musumeci says:

      Hi There – Refuse trucks come in many colors and are assigned to routes. So even if the truck is blue, it might running a trash route. That being said, if a blue dumpster is highly contaminated it might be picked up with the trash.

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City Residents: Refuse Dropoff Changes

Attention City Residents:

There are changes to the hours and locations of citizen dropoff sites. New North transfer station location:

4124 North 1st, St. Louis, MO 63147
South transfer station has not moved.