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Tips on keeping the holiday season from overwhelming recycling centers

Patrick Varine
| Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, 1:36 a.m.
Pennsylvania Resource Council Regional Director Josh Stockdale offered tips to help reduce, reuse and recycle over the holiday season. (Gannett News Service, Andrews Shimabuku/The Honolulu Advertiser)
Pennsylvania Resource Council Regional Director Josh Stockdale offered tips to help reduce, reuse and recycle over the holiday season. (Gannett News Service, Andrews Shimabuku/The Honolulu Advertiser)

Recycling centers have plenty to keep them busy, but never more so than during the season of giving.

“As we’ve moved toward online shopping, one thing that has gone way up is the volume of cardboard from shipping boxes,” said Justin Stockdale, regional director for the Pennsylvania Resources Council. “It’s completely overwhelmed some recycling facilities.”

One Pittsburgh recycling center official reported that cardboard makes up nearly 50 percent of the material that comes in during the holidays, Stockdale said.

With that in mind, he offered a few tips on reducing waste during these next few weeks, although they really could apply year-round:

Reduce: Buy “experiences” as gifts, such as vouchers for museum visits or amusement parks. Avoid unnecessary packaging. Eliminate toxins by making cleaning products at home using baking soda and vinegar.

Reuse: Throw a party using cloth napkins, glasses and real silverware. Try using natural materials like pine garlands to decorate.

Recycle: Recycle bottles and cans, cardboard, wrapping paper, cards, chipboard like cracker packages and cake-mix boxes. Recycle your Christmas tree into mulch and drop old tech devices at an approved e-waste disposal site.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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