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Reduce, reuse recycle this holiday season

Tips from the city on dealing with holiday trash

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Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 8:45 am

Just when you feel like Christmas decorations and gift wrap are taking over your home, the holidays are over and it’s time to get rid of it all. The City of Phoenix has a few tips to help.

Most wrapping paper, envelopes, boxes and Christmas cards can be recycled in the usual blue recycling bin. Foil wrapping, saran wrap, embossed or glittery wrapping paper should be thrown away along with any ribbons or bows, photo greeting cards and Styrofoam.

Gift bags can also be recycled but Terry Gellenbeck, solid waste admin analyst for the city’s Public Works Department, said any ropes or strings should be removed from bags before they are thrown in the recycling bin. As an alternative, most gift bags can be saved and reused next year.

Christmas trees can be dropped off at several locations across the city to be recycled. In Ahwatukee the Public Works Department will have stations set up at Mountain Vista Park, 50th Street just north of Ray Road, or Desert Foothills Park, Desert Foothills and Chandler Boulevard, any time between Wednesday, Dec. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 4.

Trees can also be dropped at A to Z Equipment Rentals and Sales locations, 4050 E. Indian School Road or 15634 N. 32nd St., which will accept trees at no charge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Saturday, Jan. 4, except on Tuesday, Dec. 31, when trees will be accepted from 9 a.m. to noon. The stores will be closed Monday, Dec. 30.

City transfer stations are another option for Christmas tree recycling. Both locations (30205 N. Black Canyon Highway and 3060 S. 27th Ave.) will accept trees from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 6 a.m. to noon on New Year’s Eve. Transfer stations are closed on Sundays and New Year’s Day.

For all other Christmas decorations the city encourages residents to donate to Goodwill or take advantage of the “I Recycle Phoenix” festival from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at Christown-Spectrum Mall, 1703 W. Bethany Home Road, behind the Walmart. Christmas trees can be dropped off at the event as well as computers, electronics, car seats, clothes, toys, ink cartridges, batteries, plastic bags, golf balls and office supplies. Non-perishable food items will be collected at the same location for St. Vincent De Paul.

There is a $5 recycle fee for CRT monitors and a $10 recycle fee for CRT televisions which can be paid by cash or card. Visit to see if your monitor or television is a CRT. There also is a maximum of five CFL light bulbs to be recycled.

The event will also feature on-site shredding from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Those who would like to watch their documents shredded on site are advised to come early. Those who wish to drop off documents to be shredded can come at any time during the event.

The city works with a local non-profit called Treasures 4 Teachers to whom they donate old artificial Christmas trees or decorations. Those trees and decorations are saved and reused in classrooms for art projects or décor.

Household hazardous waste (HHW) such as paint, tires and chemicals will not be accepted at the event. Phoenix residents may visit for a list of HHW collection events around the city.

It’s a big time of the year for the city’s Public Works Department. Gellenbeck said the main message the city would like to get out if for people to reduce, reuse and recycle.

“It’s our No. 1 time of the year for recycling,” Gellenbeck said. “But you can reuse materials as much as recycling them. It’s just as important to reducing waste. These are all elements of ReImagine Phoenix, just reconsidering what you do with your garbage instead of just throwing it away.”

For more information on the city’s public works department visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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