Don't Let Your Recycling Go To Waste This Christmas

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - As the Christmas spirit fills your home Tuesday, so might a lot of extra holiday trash. 

But the real question is, what can you throw away and what's to be recycled?

Throwing everything into the garbage after Christmas is pretty easy. But for those who deal with the aftermath, it can make things quite difficult. 

"A lot of it is recyclable, but there's a lot of contamination to, which is what we call it, that we have to make sure we get out of the system because our system only sorts out what it can recycle. Anything that's not recyclable, our team has to go in and sort out manually," Marketer for Millennium Recycling, Marissa Begley said.

Items ranging from Christmas lights, bows, batteries in Christmas cards, to anything coated in foil and glitter are not meant to be recycled. For a good way to test what kind of bags you can and can't toss, Begley recommends something they call "The Rip Test."

"So this is a good example of a 'No.' If you try to rip it it doesn't easily rip, so there's too many additives in there; you can also notice the shiny outside of it, which means it's usually foil. So these two are good example of paper where you rip it, this one has a little bit of a shine, but it's still just paper. If you rip it easily, it's paper. Same with this one - 'boop' - paper," Begley said.

Begley says strings of Christmas lights are actually dangerous to throw in the recycling.

"If they get in the bin, same thing with ribbon and bows, it's so stringy that it will wrap around our equipment and shut us down so we do not want Christmas lights in the bin," Begley said.

Millennium Recycling has also partnered with the City of Sioux Falls to create and official 'Yes or No' guide to what can be disposed of.

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