Got holiday gift waste? DPW has tips for proper disposal

(Photo by: Ken Ross/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

This year has been interesting, to say the least, and the holiday season is no exception.

Many are expected to turn to e-commerce as a safer shopping option amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) news release. Those online gifts can arrive at homes contained in a wide array of packaging materials like plastic envelopes, boxes, and bubble wrap.

Milwaukee Recycles sorting facility

Add these to the list of gift wrap options and many are left with a lot of materials to dispose of properly at the end of the day. Sorting that waste can get a little confusing, but the DPW has answers for some of the common questions about which bin materials belong in.

What Can I Recycle Curbside?

  • Cardboard Boxes Consider reusing to wrap gifts and when you’re done, just empty, flatten and recycle. Boxes that are not emptied and flattened are difficult to collect and sometimes cause extra trips to the recycling facility when collection trucks fill up too quickly with bulky boxes.
  • Consider reusing to wrap gifts and when you’re done, just empty, flatten and recycle. Boxes that are not emptied and flattened are difficult to collect and sometimes cause extra trips to the recycling facility when collection trucks fill up too quickly with bulky boxes.
  • Plain wrapping paper Wrapping paper that doesn’t contain any foil or glitter can be recycled curbside. If it’s shiny, consider reusing it next year or place it in the garbage.
  • Wrapping paper that doesn’t contain any foil or glitter can be recycled curbside. If it’s shiny, consider reusing it next year or place it in the garbage.
  • Newspaper An alternative to traditional wrapping paper and accepted in your curbside recycling.
  • An alternative to traditional wrapping paper and accepted in your curbside recycling.

What Doesn’t Belong in Curbside Recycling?

  • Styrofoam Considering reusing Styrofoam to wrap your gifts. Otherwise, it should be placed in your garbage cart.
  • Considering reusing Styrofoam to wrap your gifts. Otherwise, it should be placed in your garbage cart.
  • Tissue paper Made from a low-grade paper, tissue paper is not accepted for curbside recycling. Consider folding up and storing for use next year.
  • Made from a low-grade paper, tissue paper is not accepted for curbside recycling. Consider folding up and storing for use next year.
  • Bows and ribbons These items are not recyclable and can tangle in recycling system equipment. Consider reusing or donating.
  • These items are not recyclable and can tangle in recycling system equipment. Consider reusing or donating.

What Should I to the Store?

  • Plastic bags and film Plastic bags and film should never be placed in your recycling cart as they tangle in recycling equipment and contaminate accepted curbside recyclables. However, you can return them to store drop-offs for source-separated recycling. Packaging materials you can return include, but are not limited to the following: Plastic film shipping envelopes Bubble wrap Air pillows 
  • Plastic bags and film should never be placed in your recycling cart as they tangle in recycling equipment and contaminate accepted curbside recyclables. However, you can return them to store drop-offs for source-separated recycling. Packaging materials you can return include, but are not limited to the following: Plastic film shipping envelopes Bubble wrap Air pillows 
  • Plastic film shipping envelopes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Air pillows 

Other Holiday Reminders from the DPW 

  • Drop-off Centers Residents can visit milwaukee.gov/dropoff for hours, locations, materials accepted and any associated fees. The centers are closed on Sundays and Mondays in winter and will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25 and on Jan. 1.
  • Residents can visit milwaukee.gov/dropoff for hours, locations, materials accepted and any associated fees. The centers are closed on Sundays and Mondays in winter and will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25 and on Jan. 1.
  • Recycling Collection Schedules Residents can visit milwaukee.gov/collectionday to view their garbage and recycling dates. There will be no garbage or recycling pick-up on Dec. 24 and 25 and on Jan. 1.
  • Residents can visit milwaukee.gov/collectionday to view their garbage and recycling dates. There will be no garbage or recycling pick-up on Dec. 24 and 25 and on Jan. 1.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android.

Always remember to "Know Before You Throw" and check the Milwaukee DPW's curbside recycling guide for a list of accepted and unaccepted materials.

Visit milwaukeerecycles.com for information on acceptable materials for recycling in the City of Milwaukee. Follow us at facebook.com/milwaukeerecycles and twitter.com/mkerecycles. City Residents can also call (414) 286-CITY (2489) for more information.

War Memorial Center sells holiday ornament; proceeds benefit vets

Milwaukee's War Memorial Center is selling a commemorative ornament with proceeds to benefit education and service-oriented programs for veterans.