Thinking green this holiday season

Ridge recycling depot closed for two days.

Ridge Meadows Recycling Society reminds residents that there will be no curbside blue box pickup on Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

The recycling depot will also be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day, and will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31.

As residents with Tuesday recycling pickup will be missing in a row, there will be a special pickup for Tuesday residents only on Saturday, Dec. 29.

Residents should have their recycling set out that day by 7 a.m. for pickup.

Leanne Koehn, with the RMRS, advises not to be late putting out recycling that day as trucks may move along their routes quicker than usual as there won’t typically be as much to pick up.

She also reminds residents to try to reduce use of recyclable materials this holiday season, adding that the depot now accepts flexible plastic packaging for curbside pickup, in the red box.

Non-stretchy plastics, such as cereal bags or candy wrappers and cellophane, can be dropped off at the depot, on 236th Street, off River Road in the Albion industrial area.

Lastly, Koehn suggests using paper to wrap presents, even newspaper or comics to save money, as well.

“It’s easy to recycle,” she said.

The recycling depot now accepts over 200 items.

“This means if Santa brings you a new cell phone, electronics, appliances, or a new computer, you can recycle the old ones for free at the depot. Plus, there is also free depot drop-off for the Styrofoam, cardboard, and plastic packaging it came in.”

More holiday tips:

• bring reusable shopping bags with you to stores;

• keep giving experiences and memories in mind instead of buying ‘stuff’ that may end up in the trash;

• purchase handmade durable and reusable decorations and gifts from a local charity or craft fair;

• use newspaper or comics, or wrap gifts with reusable cloth bags, clothing items, or towels;

• consider buying a potted tree that can be transplanted into your garden after Christmas;

• use a timer on your tree lights so you’re not wasting electricity while sleeping or away from home;

• bring old Christmas lights to RMRS bins at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre, the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre, or the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot for recycling.

Also, pay attention to what kind of gift wrap you buy – plastic gift wrap or foil printed paper is not recyclable. Only buy paper wrap that can be put in the yellow recycling bag.

When unwrapping gifts, pay attention to what will happen to the gift wrap. If you unwrap presents carefully, most wrap can be reused for many years to come. Remove all ribbons, bows, and other decorations to store and use again next Christmas.

Hosting parties? Use reusable plates and cutlery, and napkins, if possible. Pack leftovers in reusable containers (you can even give these to guests to take home. Compost all food scraps and paper napkins.

The Recycling Society of B.C. also asks residents to reduce waste around the holidays, and explore new or greener traditions.

RSBC suggests opting for a potted Christmas tree over an artificial one and switching to LED light strings, which use 90 per cent less energy than incandescent ones.

Also, to avoid unnecessary plastic waste this holiday season, decorate by bringing nature inside. Cedar branches, acorns, and potted plants can breathe colour and life into any room. They can also be composted at the end of their use, so nothing has to go to waste.

According to RSBC, if everyone in Canada wrapped just three gifts in reused paper or reusable gift bags, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 hockey rinks.

• Visit the RCBC website to view and download resources on all things waste reduction at http://www.rcbc.ca/holiday-info.

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