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The list of accusers against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to swell. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Hurricane Florence SNAPs North Carolina to attention on the importance of food benefits; plus a new report says young parents need better supports.

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Reducing Minnesota's Mountains of Holiday Trash

PHOTO: The trash generated by the average American household jumps by 25 percent during the holidays, but with some planning before shopping, that doesn't have to be the case. Photo credit: Tarah Tamayo/Flickr.
PHOTO: The trash generated by the average American household jumps by 25 percent during the holidays, but with some planning before shopping, that doesn't have to be the case. Photo credit: Tarah Tamayo/Flickr.
December 4, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The end-of-year holidays aren't just a time filled with more cheer, but a time filled with more trash, although some simple tips can help keep that to a minimum.

The best way to cut down on the garbage generated over this time and year-round is through what waste reduction advocate Leslie Irlbeck says is called pre-cycling.

"So when you're at the store and you're looking for gifts or you're looking for things to wrap those gifts, it's nice to keep in mind what will you do with it once it's served its purpose – can it be reused?” she explains. “Can it be recycled? Or will it end up going to the landfill?"

Irlbeck says between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the average household produces about 25 percent more waste than normal.

When it comes to wrapping paper and greeting cards, Irlbeck points out much of it can be recycled.

"You want the generic, plain old paper when you're looking for cards and wrapping paper, because those are the items that can be recycled,” she explains. “So, that means avoiding some of those fun, sparkly, metallic, glittered papers that, unfortunately, cannot be recycled."

Irlbeck also notes that old garland should be donated or go into the trash, not the recycling bin, and the same is true for strands of Christmas lights.

"There are several mail-in programs and so, you can do a quick Google search to see what charities or places that you can drop those Christmas lights off to get recycled,” she says. “But it's important that they do not go in your recycling cart, because they get wrapped up in the equipment and do, actually, an enormous amount of damage."

For those who have live Christmas trees, many communities will have post-holiday recycling programs for their disposal.








John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN