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The Department of Justice bows to Trump demands – at least, in part. Also on the rundown: the latest Supreme Court ruling deemed a blow to workers' rights; plus a solar program back by popular demand.

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Tips on Reducing Waste This Holiday Season

Christmas trees and much of the packaging for gifts are recyclable. (thelesleyshow/morguefile)
Christmas trees and much of the packaging for gifts are recyclable. (thelesleyshow/morguefile)
December 29, 2016

PHOENIX — Americans buy 25 - 30 million Christmas trees every year, and now it’s time for people to think about recycling them. But experts say Christmas trees aren't the only thing that can be recycled once the holidays are over.

Many cities have drop-off programs to turn Christmas trees into mulch, which then saves water in the garden and improves the soil. Yvette Roeder, public information officer with the Phoenix Public Works Department, reminds folks to be sure to strip everything off the tree before recycling it.

"They need to make sure that the trees are completely free of Christmas decorations, Christmas hooks, even the wooden stakes that usually come with the Christmas tree,” Roeder said. "They need to be free of that before they can actually drop off their Christmas trees or wreaths to be recycled."

Most of the packaging from presents can be recycled as well. Cardboard boxes must be broken down into manageable pieces. Hard plastic inserts from boxes can usually be recycled, but filmy plastic, Styrofoam, zip-closing bags and ribbons generally cannot.

Roeder said plain or shiny wrapping paper can be recycled, but paper that is foiled or has velvety flocking cannot.

"The number one rule that you need to know is, if you can tear it with your own hands, that means it can be recycled."

You can even compost your food waste - or have someone else do it. Several new companies have sprouted up in Arizona that charge a small fee to pick up food scraps, compost them and even spread some of them over community gardens.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ