‘Tis the Season to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

The holidays are a special time full of family, food, traditions and, unfortunately, waste. Lots of waste!  The U.S. E.P.A. estimates that American households generate 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That’s more one million tons of extra waste! Help make waste reduction part of your family’s holiday traditions by reducing, reusing and recycling.  Here are a few ideas of simple things to get you started: 


  • Buy Experiences, Not Things. After all, experiences are more memorable and can be shared by many!
  • Try to Ignore the Urge to Buy New. “New” is so last year. In many cases, a hand-me-down gift can be more meaningful than something new. If you haven’t used something in years, maybe someone else you know would appreciate it even more.


  • Wrap Creatively. Old maps, newspapers and posters can make great wrapping paper. Shoe boxes and old boxes from the office can also reduce the need to purchase new packaging material. 
  • Use Reusable Bags. Remember to bring reusable shopping bags as you shop for groceries and gifts this season. Or, consider using a reusable bag as a gift bag rather than a paper bag that will just get tossed after a gift is opened.


  • Remember the Recycling Basics. Most holiday food packaging such empty bottles, cans, cartons, and tubs are recyclable in Denver’s purple carts. Get to know Denver Recycles’ guidelines and plan to buy products with recyclable packaging.
  • Buy Recycled! Purchasing items made from recycled content helps to “close the loop” and fuel the recycling economy. Look for labels on greeting cards and other products that are clearly labeled as containing “post-consumer” recycled content.

For additional waste reduction ideas and information related to Denver’s recycling guidelines and programs, visit DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles or call 311 (720-913-1311).

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Recycle your Christmas Tree with Denver’s Treecycle program

Recycling your Christmas tree is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with Denver Recycles/Solid Waste Management’s annual Treecycle program. By recycling your tree through Denver’s Treecycle program, you can help keep trees out of the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create mulch that is available to Denver residents for free at the Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway & Leafdrop Compost Sale in the spring.

Here’s how easy it is to recycle your Christmas tree:

  1. Remove all decorations, lights and tree stands. Only natural (real) trees are collected for recycling during Treecycle. No artificial or flocked trees are accepted.
  2. Set your tree out for collection no later than 7 a.m. on Saturday, January 7th or January 14th
  3. Reclaim free mulch made from your tree at the annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale in May!


  • All Christmas trees must be set out at your regular trash collection location by 7 a.m. on Saturday, January 7th or January 14th. Trees may be collected on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Do NOT place trees inside bags, carts or dumpsters.
  • Be sure to set trees at least 2 feet away from trash or recycling containers carts, and all other obstacles.
  • Trees will not be collected by Extra Trash crews during the first two weeks of January.
  • After January 15th, trees can be dropped off for recycling at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off.

Last year, Denver residents recycled nearly 20,000 trees. Participate in this year’s Treecycle program and help us recycle even more!

For more information about Treecycle, the Annual Treecycle Mulch Giveaway and LeafDrop Compost Sale or other Denver Recycles programs, visit  DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles call 311 (720-913-1311).

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