Questions about recycling, composting and waste diversion?  Why not Ask Charlie?  Charlie’s been in the recycling biz for quite some time, and enjoys answering questions from all over King County.  Each month, as part of Recology CleanScapes’ Beyond Waste Bulletin, Charlie answers a question.  Below is this month’s response!


Tasha asks:

Dear Charlie,

Try as I might to reduce the amount of waste I generate during the holidays, sometimes I just can’t resist wrapping up presents for my little nieces and nephews.  It’s too much fun to watch them scratch at the paper to reveal this year’s holiday surprise!  We usually round up the wrappings afterward and toss it all into the blue bin (which makes me feel a little better about the whole experience), but recently I read something like not all wrapping paper is recyclable!

Is this true?!  Does Santa know?!


Dear Tasha,

Ho, ho, hold on there!  Why not make the most of leftover scrap paper, newspaper or other items we tend to accumulate over the year and repurpose them into unique wrappings for your loved ones?  If crafts really aren’t your thing, though, you can be sure of two holiday rules. Number one: while most wrapping paper can head straight to the blue bin, some shiny/laminated wrapping paper is in fact not recyclable.  Unsure if your wrappings are laminated?  Check the label for disposal information.  And number two: tissue paper belongs in the compost bin. Similar to paper napkins, tissue paper is too thin to be recycled again into new paper, but can help absorb moisture during the composting process.

Until next year’s questions!