Many Iowans with good intentions will try to recycle packaging from holiday presents when much of the material should go in the trash. One of the more common recycling mistakes involves wrapping paper.
Megan Murphy, with the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division, says both tissue and wrapping paper should be left out of the recycling bin. “Tissue paper, if you feel it, has that waxy coating on it – almost like wax paper which you don’t recycle either. That’s the big issue there. And wrapping paper is not quite the right fiber to go into new recycled paper. It has too much dye in it and it’s just not the right quality,” Murphy said.
Styrofoam is also not recyclable and should be placed in the garbage. Cardboard boxes can be recycled, but staples, plastic handles and twist ties should first be removed.
Bubble wrap can be recycled as well, but all the bubbles need to be popped. Murphy said the popped bubble wrap should be mixed with plastic bags, which are accepted at most grocery stores for recycling.
Iowans who receive a new television or other electronic device as a gift are encouraged to recycle their old TV or equipment – rather than send it to the landfill.