UPDATE: Recycle Ann Arbor Reuse Center, Drop-Off Station, Recovery Yard and Main Office are CLOSED. Please call 662-6288 or email email@example.com with questions. Curbside Recycling Collection will continue on your scheduled day. Read our complete Covid-19 Response under our latest news.
HOLIDAY ZERO WASTE GUIDE
Gift Giving Without the Waste
Shop & Buy Local
Support local by shopping a local businesses and holiday craft fairs. Don't forget to bring your own bags when you shop!
Reuse materials you already have to make a gift. Make something consumable, such as holiday cookies or hot cocoa mix.
Consumable gifts: like local teas, coffees, preserves, soaps, and candles.
Experiential gifts: gift certificate for a massage, movies, favorite restaurant, reservations for a vacation or tickets to a concert.
Donations: Give to a charity in someone's name.
Share a list of items you need and places you patron with your family and friends who you exchange gifts with. Make sure you ask them to share their list too.
Reduce Gift Wrap Waste
Reuse newspaper and scrap paper to wrap gifts. Use reusable fabric bags. Make the wrap a useful part of the gift - for example, wrap the gift in a scarf. Use reusable cloth ribbons and twine or ditch the ribbon altogether.
If using wrapping paper, use paper from a thrift store or recycled content paper. Save intact paper for reuse. Recycle non-metallic paper in curbside recycling.
Paper Gift Bags
Check thrift stores first before buying new. Save bags to reuse for future gifts. If unable to be reused, recycle in curbside recycling.
Reuse cardboard for storage or crafts. Flattened cardboard can be recycle curbside. Cardboard must fit inside cart lid closed. Extra cardboard pickups can be scheduled for $25 at 734-662-6288.
Consider sending an electronic card or giving a phone call. Send greeting cards made w/recycled content. Reuse the fronts of cards as gift tags or for crafts. Recycle holiday cards or envelopes.
A to Z Zero Waste Guide
Check our A to Z Zero Waste Guide at recycleannarbor.org for how to recycle or reuse batteries, textiles, electronics, bubble wrap, styrofoam, packaging and other zero waste tips.
Zero Waste Celebrations
Reduce… Plan ahead to reduce food that goes to waste.
- Make a shopping list with the specific number of items you need. Stick to your list!
- Check your pantry and refrigerator before you go to the store.
- Make a menu and coordinate with friends and family so you don’t duplicate dishes.
- Use an online portion planner to figure out exactly how much food you need for your guest list. Check out savethefood.com/guestimator.
- Encourage smaller portions by using smaller plates and smaller serving utensils.
- Send leftovers home with guests - have guests bring their own containers to take home leftovers or reuse containers you would otherwise be recycling.
Reuse… Get creative by reusing parts of foods you don’t usually eat and combining leftovers.
- Look online for creative ways to use parts of foods you typically don’t eat - for example, broccoli stalks can be chopped up and roasted.
- Use meat bones and veggie scraps to make broth at home.
- Search online for ways to combine common holiday leftovers for a new meal.
Recycle... Give a new purpose to the food you know you will not eat.
- Unopened and non-perishable items can be donated to Food Gatherers.
- Compost uneaten food that is spoiled.
Use reusable plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, & cloth napkins. Check the Reuse Center if you need more. Buy drinks in bulk rather than individual serving sizes.
Check out our Guide To Make Your Party Zero Waste for more ways to plan ahead for your gathering!
Zero Waste Decorations
Save energy by using timers and LED lights. Recycle broken string lights at the Drop-Off Station.
Support local tree farms. Free Christmas Tree drop-off available from Friday, Dec. 13th, 2019 to Jan. 31st, 2020 from 6 am to 10 pm at Southeast Area Park, West Park, Gallup Park, and Olson Park.
Artificial Christmas Trees
Check our Reuse Center and other local thrift stores for artificial Christmas trees. Donate reusable artificial trees to the Reuse Center. Artificial trees can be disposed of at the Drop-Off Station, but are not recycled.