Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, waste increases by 25%. Here are some tips to reduce, reuse, and recycle for the common “extras” generated this time of year.

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Green Gifts

Choose Recycled Content!

When shopping, look for the words recycled content or better yet look for “post-consumer.” Post-consumer content is made from materials collected from curbside and recycling drop-off sites. Purchasing recycled content helps to “close the loop.”


Looking to express your creativity? Perennial, a non-profit community workshop, offers classes in creatively reusing items. They also sell repurposed home goods and eco-friendly project supplies. Learn more about them here:

Not into DIY? Check out the up-cycled gifts that are already made on Etsy here:

Give a Gift to Help Someone Help the Environment:

Holiday Recycling
  • Smart Plug Strips (energy-saving power strip)
  • Rain barrels
  • Compost bin
  • Energy-saving fluorescent or L.E.D light fixtures
  • Cloth napkins
  • Diaper service for new parents
  • Cloth shopping bags

Give an Experience:

Gifts don’t have to be a physical item. They can be anything, such as a gift card, a donation to a charity, or a pass to an event or place. Here are some ideas:Gifts don’t have to be a physical item. They can be anything, such as a gift card, a donation to a charity, or a pass to an event or place. Here are some ideas:

Or Buy Nothing at All!

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Wrapping and Packaging

Holiday Recycling

Plan for Recycling

  • All non-foil wrapping paper and gift boxes can be recycled in your curbside bin or at drop-off locations.
  • Holiday Recycling

    Plan for Reuse!

  • Gift wrap, bags, boxes, packing peanuts, and bows are all reusable! Save them for next year.
  • Foam packaging and coolers can be recycled at:
  • Foam Products Corporation (FPC)
    2525 Adie Road
    Saint Louis, MO 63043
    Monday - Friday 7:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

    Foam Products Corporationl
    Holiday Recycling

    Consider these Alternatives to new Styrofoam and Bubble-wrap:

    • Biodegradable starch packing peanuts
    • Reuse packing peanuts from previous gifts
    • Crumpled ads from the newspaper
    • Waste from your paper shredder

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    Making Room for the New Stuff

    Share your abundance by donating your good usable books, toys, clothes, shoes, and appliances to charitable organizations.

    Salvation Army

    Make Room


    Society of St. Vincent de Paul

    None of these close to you? Check out this directory of St. Louis thrift stores:

    Wipe Out Electronic Waste


    If you give or receive new electronics for the holidays, consider donating working equipment to charity. If reuse is not an option, recycle your gadgets. There are a multitude of recycling options for electronics, but choose carefully. Make sure your recycler will provide documented guarantees for data security. To assure materials are handled responsibly, choose "E Stewards" and "R2 Certified" companies. Please call to verify accepted items, hours of operation, and fees if applicable.

    Spectrum Ecycle Solutions
    1521 Page Industrial Blvd.
    St. Louis, MO 63132
    Spectrum MRC Recycling
    11139 S. Town Square
    St. Louis, MO 63123


    Single-use batteries are safe to dispose of in the trash. We recommend putting them in a bag first.

    • Rechargeable Batteries:
      These need to be brought back to the store. They cannot go in your trash or curbside recycle bin. Many large retailers can recycle them. For more information, visit:
      Residents Saint Louis County, St. Louis City, and Jefferson County can use the two Household Hazardous Waste Facilities to drop of rechargeable batteries. For more information
    • Single-Use/Alkaline Batteries:
      These batteries have fees associated with recycling because the process to recycle them exceeds the market value of the recovered materials. Please check the following mail back options for details:
      Battery Solutions, Inc.:
      The Big Green Box:
      Retriev Tecnologies:



    Unless textiles are wet and moldy, they can be reused or recycled! Charitable thrift stores welcome useable clothing in good condition. Textile drop-offs and collection boxes are listed below:

    • Merchandise Pick-up Service – Hosts the yellow “barns” at schools and other non-profit organizations. For locations or to host a container call 314- 416-8282.
    • Remains, Inc – In addition to textiles, Remains accepts paired shoes. To locate a collection drive near you or to schedule a textile recycling collection for your non-profit organization call 314-865-0303.
    • USAgain – Collects shoes and clothes in conveniently-placed green and white bins hosted by schools, non-profits and local businesses. To locate the nearest bin or to join a USAgain Fundraiser visit or call 314-291-0046.
    • Charity Clothing Pickup – Provides pick up services for clothing and shoes to be distributed to thrift stores in the metro area. To set up a pick up date and time or to find a drop off box, go to or call 636-282-0000
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    Cooking Oil

    Did someone say deep fried turkey?! Save up that used cooking oil and keep it out of your sink and drains! You can drop off your cooking oil at one of our two Household Hazardous Waste sites where it will be recycled with other waste oils and used as alternative fuels. Check your basement and garage for other household hazardous waste and paint you are ready to get rid of as well! For more information visit:

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    Holiday Lights

    Did you just put up your lights to realize half the strand isn’t working? What about unworkable lights you just want out of the house? Don’t throw your lights in the landfill! Holiday lights are recyclable, but NOT in your curbside bin. Bring lights to these locations:

    City of Kirkwood
    350 South Taylor Avenue
    Kirkwood, MO 63122
    Kirkwood Residents Only
    Phone: (314) 822-5828
    Every day of the week
    24 Hours per day
    Spectrum lights
    Earthbound Recycling
    25 Truitt Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63025
    Phone: (636) 256-7400
    Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Spectrum Forerunner Recycling
    11037 Gravois Industrial Ct., Suite E
    Sunset Hills, MO 63128
    Phone: (314) 662-1321
    Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Midwest Recycling Center (MRC)
    11139 A South Towne Square
    Saint Louis, MO 63123
    Phone: (314) 200-9017
    Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Spectrum Scrap Mart
    Cost of 10¢ per pound of lights
    145 W. Outer Rd.
    Valley Park, MO 63088
    Phone: (636) 256-7400
    Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

    Spectrum Ecycle Solutions
    1521 Page Industrial Blvd
    Saint Louis, MO 63123
    Phone: (314) 428-0777
    Monday – Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Spectrum University City
    City Hall (basement level)
    6801 Delmar Blvd
    University City, MO 63130
    Wellston Scrap & Metal
    6540 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
    Wellston, MO 63133
    Phone: (314) 389-2526
    Monday – Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Winter Wonderland
    Tilles Park
    9551 Litzsinger Saint Louis, MO 63124
    Bring your old Christmas lights when you come to Tilles Park for Winter Wonderland and we’ll recycle them for you!
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    Christmas Trees


    When you are ready to dispose of your cut tree, check your yard waste collection schedule. If you do not have yard waste collection, below are some commercial composting facilities that will turn your tree into compost or mulch. Trees must be free of all tinsel, ornaments, decorations, etc.

    Tree Fick Supply Services Inc.
    No charge for trees
    501 N. Eatherton Road
    Wildwood, MO 63005
    Phone: (636) 532- 4978
    Fax: (636) 537- 1555
    Monday - Friday: 7:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.


    Tree Saint Louis Composting
    $1 per tree; 4 Locations
    Valley Park Facility
    39 Old Elam Avenue
    Valley Park, MO 63088
    Phone: (636) 861-3344
    Fax: (636) 861-5925
    Monday – Friday:
    7:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday: (March through December)
    7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.


    Tree Saint Louis Composting
    $1 per tree; 4 Locations
    Maryland Heights Facility
    11294 Schaefer Road
    Maryland Heights, MO 63043
    Phone: (314) 423-9035
    Monday – Friday:
    6:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.


    Tree Saint Louis Composting
    $1 per tree; 4 Locations
    Fort Bellefontaine Facility
    13060 County Park Road
    Florissant, MO 63034
    Phone: (314) 355-0052
    Fax: (314) 355-2327
    Monday – Friday:
    7:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.


    Tree Saint Louis Composting
    $1 per tree; 4 Locations
    Pacific Facility
    18900 Franklin Road
    Pacific, MO 63069
    Phone: (636) 271-3352
    Monday – Friday:
    7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.



    St. Louis County Parks' operation staff is inviting the community to drop off their undecorated natural Christmas tree at one of four locations that were designated around the County; Creve Coeur Park, Spanish Lake Park, Bee Tree Park or Queeny Park. Some of the trees will be sunk by Missouri Department of Conservation in lakes to create fish habitats. The trees are a great way to create cover for some of the most popular fish largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and crappie. Parks will be accepting undecorated trees from residential homes until the end of the day on Monday, January 14th.

    Tree Creve Coeur Park
    Sailboat Cove Parking Lot
    13777 Marine Ave
    Saint Louis, MO 63146


    Tree Spanish Lake Park
    12500 Spanish Pond Road
    Saint Louis, MO 63138


    Tree Bee Tree Park
    2701 Finestown Avenue
    Saint Louis, MO 63129


    Tree Queeny Park
    550 Weidman Road
    Saint Louis, MO 63131