JACKSON, Wyo. — Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans pile up an incredible 25 percent more trash than they do during any other time of the year.

This excess waste production equals about 30 pounds of extra trash per person during the holiday weeks.  The biggest holiday offenders are wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, food waste and boxes. 

Knowing this, Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling is reminding the public ‘Tis the season to recycle.  

Holiday Recycling Reminders: 

  • Where to recycle – Materials must be placed in the big blue recycling bins at the seven locations around the town and county.  “We appreciate the community’s dedication to recycling and waste diversion,” says Becky Kiefer, ISWR Waste Diversion Outreach Coordinator, “but we really need community members to refrain from leaving recyclables on the ground beside the bins when they are full – it’s not only dangerous for workers who may slip or trip on the materials but it is considered litter and can attract wildlife.”  According to a press release from Teton County ISWR, if bins are full, try an alternative community recycling site or hold on to your recyclables until bins can be serviced on the following business day.  ISWR also reminds everyone to please be considerate and break down their boxes, as this allows more space for more materials.  
  • Contamination – All materials must be emptied of liquids and free of food scraps and grease before placing them in the blue containers.  Plastic film and Styrofoam are common contaminates in cardboard recycling and must be removed.  Traditional gift wrap is not recyclable.  

Consumers across the country have a hard time distinguishing between recyclables and hard-to-recycle counterparts that land in recycling containers.  Community members want to do the right thing, hence the ‘wish-cycling’ activity ISWR sees all too often.  Wish-cycling is the well-intended, but often unfounded belief, that something is recyclable, even though it is not.  Teton County has partnered with Recycle Coach, a recycling search tool.  On ISWR’s website, www.tetoncountywy.gov/2315/What-Goes-Where, just type in the item you have a question about like “gift bags & wrap” and Recycle Coach will tell you whether to recycle or landfill the item.  

  • Reducing Waste – Even more important than recycling is reducing your overall waste by making mindful purchasing decisions – especially with food.  Think about how much food you will need and what your plans are for leftovers.  For those who are unsure, there are websites that help calculate how much food to buy for the number and type of eaters you are expecting. Check out www.SaveTheFood.com

Keep in mind that expired leftovers can be diverted from the landfill and brought in a five-gallon bucket to the Recycling Center during regular business hours for composting.  For more information about food waste composting in Teton County visit www.tetoncountywy.gov/1459/Compost.  Speaking of compost, don’t trash your Christmas tree when you can compost it for free at the Rodeo Grounds.  Residential Christmas tree drop-off is available Dec. 26 through Jan.31, 2023.  All trees must be delivered undecorated and absolutely no tinsel can remain on the tree. 

Holiday Hours:

The Recycling Center will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26, in observance of Christmas and Monday, Jan. 2, for New Year’s.  

The Trash Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26 and Monday, Jan 2 .  The Trash Transfer Station will operate under regular Saturday hours on Christmas and New Year’s Eve from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.    

In the meantime, keep the world merry and bright. Please recycle right!