wrapping paper

The (Blue) Can and Cannot of Holiday Recycling

The holidays produce lots of trash – and lots of questions about what can be recycled in your blue Hillsborough County recycling bin. This easy list will help you keep things straight.

First, if you purchased a real tree, you can set out the tree after the holiday at the curb on your typical day for landscaping waste collection (usually Tuesday in Westchase). You must, however, remove all tinsel, lights and decorations. Cut the discarded tree in half if it exceeds 5 feet in height. The tree will be taken to the transfer station where it will be cut up and recycled as mulch.

The key to successful recycling is to remember that everything must fit in the bin. Waste collectors will not pick up items left outside your trash and recycling bins or perched on their tops.

Also, in the case of recycling, place all items to be recycled in the bin loosely, without placing them into other bags or containers.

What Can Be Recycled in the Blue Bin

• Greeting Cards
• Wrapping Paper (provided it has no foil)
• Newspapers and magazines
• Flattened Cardboard Boxes (These must fit inside the bin; oversized cardboard items can be taken to the Waste Transfer Station at 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave. for no additional charge.)
• Recyclable food and beverage containers (These should be emptied and rinsed before placing them loose in the blue recycling cart; do not put them inside other bags or containers.):

  • Plastic bottles and containers No. 1-7 (The number appears inside the triangle of arrows.)
  • Aluminum, tin, and steel cans
  • Cartons, such as those for soy milk, juice boxes, chicken broth, etc.
  • Glass bottles and jars

What Cannot Be Recycled in the Blue Bin

• Gift Bags
• Tissue Paper
• Ribbon and Bows
• Bubble Wrap and Plastic Wrap
• Foam packaging (This can be recycled at the Dart Container Corp. facility, at 4610 Airport Road in Plant City.)
• Styrofoam Trays from beneath meat and produce (These are recyclable at most supermarkets.)
• Holiday Decorations and Ornaments (Place these in the gray bin.)
• Plastic Shopping/Grocery Bags (These are recycled by most supermarkets.)
• Strings of Lights (These can be recycled at the Waste Transfer Station at 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave.)
• Small appliances like toasters, hair dryers, crockpots, etc. (Place these in your gray trash bin.)
• Pre-lit Trees (Place these in the regular trash).
• Electronics (You can recycle electronic items with digital displays or circuit boards—computers, TVs, laptops and video consoles—at the Waste Transfer Station at 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave.)

For more detailed information on what is recyclable in Hillsborough County, please visit https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/property-owners-and-renters/trash-and-recycling/what-can-i-recycle.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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