3 Recycling Tips for Christmas – Wrapping, Recycling Centers, and Trees!

3 Recycling Tips for Christmas – Wrapping, Recycling Centers, and Trees!

  • Editor’s Note: This recycling tips article was written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or recycle@countyofkane.org.

With Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the rear-view mirror, here are three recycling tips I think are most valuable and most important here in Kane County:

  1. Recycle Wrapping Paper properly.
  2. Recycle your used electronics, clothes, books, and Christmas lights at one of the Kane County Recycling Centers.
  3. Recycle your Christmas Tree – so it can be mulched instead of landfilled.

Recycle Wrapping Paper Properly (Also Reuse!)

This wrapping, made with a scarf, is brilliant, beautiful and environmentally friendly.

The best thing to do is wrap presents in cloth or reusable materials, or save and reuse the wrapping paper for next year!

If you are not one to save and reuse wrapping paper, then please try to follow the below tips to help the sorting facilities better sort and bale the materials for recycling. Not all wrapping paper is created equal. Not all of it is recyclable.


Regular wrapping paper is OK to recycle in your curbside bin, so long as it’s not plastic coated. The wrapping paper should be flattened, not balled, and free of ribbons or stickers before placing in the recycling bin.

You can recycle wrapping paper (or Christmas cards) that is printed on one side or two, as long as it is not plastic coated. This recyclable plain paper should be placed in the recycling cart FLATTENED, NOT BALLED, and should be free of ribbons, stickers, ornaments or any kind of plastic. A little bit of tape is OK.

Do not wad up the paper before recycling. Balled up paper makes it difficult to sort and may mean it does not get recycled. Please flatten it along with any cardboard boxes before placing it in your recycling cart.


Tissue paper is a NO, and you should not put wrapping paper in the bin if it’s bunched or balled up.

Do not recycle the following kinds of wrapping paper (or Christmas cards): cellophane or plastic wrapping, tissue paper (which is too thin to recycle again), foil wrapping or cards, any wrapping or cards with glitter or sequins on them. Those should be put in the trash if not reused.

For more, also see last year’s article on this topic, here.

Recycle Old Stuff at Kane County Recycling Centers!

You can recycle all of your old electronics (including TVs and computers, music players, video game consoles, holiday light strings, and more); old clothing, shoes, accessories; and books at the Kane County Recycling Centers.

See here for full information on what is accepted, locations, hours, and more. The Batavia location is open Saturdays, including the Saturday after Christmas (12/26) from 8am-1pm!

Recycle your Christmas Tree!

During the holiday season, we can help Mother Nature by recycling our Christmas trees. Returning the organic material to a composting facility to be mulched is much better than landfilling!

No matter where you live in Kane County, recycling your Christmas tree is easy, and mostly free. Please visit this page on the Kane County Recycles website to find collection dates and information specific to your town or township. If your town is not on the list, then contact them directly. There are also a couple drop-off locations, where you can take your tree for a fee.

Instructions differ by town, but here are four common tips given by all of the cities and villages:

  1. Remove ornaments! It is very important to remove all decorations, especially tinsel, before placing it out at the curb for collection or before dropping it off.
  2. No Plastic bags! Do not place the tree into plastic bags, just place them out there plain as the day you bought them. This is because they are collected separately and mulched rather than landfilled, and we don’t want the plastic and tinsel in the mulch.
  3. Cut up big trees! If the tree is a big one, please cut the trunk into pieces smaller than 6-foot in length.
  4. Keep it visible! If it becomes covered with snow please brush it off so that it is visible to assure that it will be collected

Read More Kane County Recycling Tips!