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Post-holiday materials: Toss or recycle?

Powell Valley Recycling provides a list of what can be recycled

On Christmas morning, after all the presents are unwrapped, piles of wrapping paper, boxes, tissue paper, bubble wrap and cards remain.

While some materials end up in the landfill after the holidays, many things can be recycled locally.

Powell Valley Recycling Director Mary Jo Decker encourages residents to sort through materials after the holidays and take recyclable items to the center at 946 Road 10 in Powell. However, it’s important to pay attention to what items can be recycled. If it can’t be recycled, then it must be taken to the landfill, costing the nonprofit center.

“Our garbage isn’t free either,” Decker said.

If you don’t know whether something can be recycled, call the center at 754-9773. Its winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center will close at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will remain closed on Christmas Day.

Recyclable items can be taken to the center after hours, but Decker asked residents to make sure it is fully in a container so it won’t blow away.

Christmas trees can be taken to the Park County Fairgrounds through the end of January, according to city of Powell Sanitation Superintendent Darrell Rood.

The following items cannot be recycled locally:

• Wrapping paper: Most of it contains fire retardant and can’t be processed

• Tissue paper: It is so thin that the paper has no fibers left

• Greeting cards: Most are made out of the same material as photos and cannot be recycled at Powell Valley Recycling. However, Decker recommends folks consider sending cards to St. Jude’s.

The nonprofit accepts used all-occasion greeting card fronts (make sure the backside of the card front is clear of any writing). Mail donations to: St. Jude’s Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program, 100 St. Jude’s St., Boulder City, NV, 89005.

• Styrofoam: Can be taken to Ashley Furniture in Billings, where there’s a machine to melt it down. (Machine costs $35,000.)

• Glass: After calculating on a statewide level, all of the glass tonnage would only be enough to mix with gravel and do a two-mile stretch of road, according to the Department of Environmental Quality.

The following items can be recycled at the Powell Valley Recycling Center:

• Christmas lights that are unwanted, broken or not working: The wire is recycled. The bulbs can be left on the strands of lights.

• Cardboard/paste or wet board: It is shipped to Toledo, Ore., and made into more cardboard.

• Bubble wrap: While it cannot be recycled in Powell, it can be reused. The center collects packing peanuts and bubble wrap to redistribute to businesses or individuals who can reuse packing materials.

• Newspaper/magazines/phone books: Materials are shipped to Twin Falls, Idaho, and made into insulation and used for hydro seed.

• Office paper: Recycled and made into paper towels, napkins and toilet paper.

• Aluminum beverage cans: The metal is recycled to make new cans

• Steel/tin cans: Made into rebar.

• Plastics No. 1, the type used in water bottles: Recycled material is made into textiles such as carpeting, clothing and batting.

• Plastics No. 2 through No. 7: Recycled plastics are used in composite lumber and toys.

• Rechargeable batteries

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