Department of Public Works offers tips to reduce, reuse and recycle this holiday season

MILWAUKEE --The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) on Thursday, Dec. 19 released a list of tips and reminders to help you reduce waste and properly dispose of a variety of holiday items this season.

All Wrapped Up

Ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper with foil or glitter are not recyclable. Tissue paper is made from a low-grade paper that is not accepted for curbside recycling. Don’t fret! Try one of our favorite reuse strategies to create a new tradition. After your exchange, fold up the tissue paper, bags, and bows from all of the unwrapped gifts and send these items home with family members and friends so everyone has something new to wrap in next year.

Christmas Tree

    All of the Lights

    A reminder that Christmas lights should never be placed in your recycling cart. Consider donating lights that are in working condition or recycle them through HolidayLEDs.

    Make Room For Recyclables – Don’t Bag

    Recyclables should always be loose in your cart, never bagged. This also helps save room by letting recyclables fall and settle in the cart where they fit.

    All. Those. Boxes.

    Let’s face it. You’re getting a TON of cardboard boxes delivered to your door this season and so are ALL of your neighbors. That’s a lot of boxes! Boxes that are not emptied and flattened are difficult to collect, difficult to fit inside the collection trucks, and sometimes cause crews to make extra trips to the recycling facility when the truck fills up too quickly. Styrofoam should be placed in your garbage cart, but plastic film packaging can be recycled at a local store drop off (not accepted curbside).

    The Cardinal Rules for Holiday Recycling

    Above all else, remember these two rules and you’ll be a fantastic holiday recycler:

      Drop Off Centers
      Residents can visit for hours, locations, materials accepted, and any associated fees. The centers are closed on Sundays and Mondays and will be closed on December 24, 25, and January 1.

      Recycling Collection Schedules
      Residents can visit to view their garbage and recycling dates. There will be no garbage or recycling pick-up on December 24, 25, or January 1.

      Stay in the Know

      Visit for information on acceptable materials for recycling in the City of Milwaukee. Tips, tricks, and recycling stats can be found on and

      Residents can also call 414-286-CITY (2489) for more information.