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Dec 092010

Louisiana, like the rest of the nation, produces more garbage in December than any other month. Reducing, recycling and reusing helps reduce trash and takes care of the environment. You can “Be the Solution” by following a few simple ideas from DEQ.

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Pre-cycle your Christmas tree

Take recycling and reuse into consideration when you buy a tree. You can purchase an artificial tree that doesn't have to be discarded or a live tree that you can replant. If you have a cut tree, remember that tinsel, flocking and decorations must be removed before recycling. Trees, usually collected in early January, are ground up into compost or mulch. Call your local sanitation department or waste hauler/recycler to find out what your community does with used Christmas trees.

Innovative gift wrapping ideas

Using decorative gift boxes, reusable gift bags or Christmas theme fabric with Velcro fasteners helps reduce trash. Newspaper funnies and ads also make colorful wrapping paper. When you buy, check the recycled content of your purchase and buy recycled where possible.

Foam peanuts are recyclable

To find out where to recycle foam peanuts, call the Peanut Hotline at 800-828-2214. If you are a retailer who would like to participate or for more information, go to www.loosefillpackaging.com/hotline.

Batteries, cardboard and more can be recycled

Buy rechargeable batteries for toys, cameras and gadgets. When those batteries no longer hold a charge, call the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at 800-8-battery or go to their Web page at www.rbrc.org for the nearest battery-recycling drop off. Remember that most cardboard and paper can be recycled.

Have a safe holiday season and remember to never burn wrapping paper or Christmas trees in the fireplace. For more recycling ideas, go to www.deq.louisiana.gov/recycling. If you have recycling ideas to share, email us at deqassistance@la.gov.