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Ways To Reduce Post-Holiday Waste

Next Step Recycling

After all your holiday gifts have been opened and the tree is starting to droop, its time to consider what to do with the debris of the season.

Bell: “Stop before you throw it all in the recycle bin.”
Kelly Bell is Lane County Master Recycling Coordinator.  She says Oregonians really like to recycle. The state has a 50 percent recycling rate, which is better than the national rate. But the problem is that people tend to put things in the recycle bin that don’t belong in it. One example during the holidays is burnt out Christmas lights. Bell says to take them to an electronics recycler like Eugene’s Next Step.

“I was just there a couple of days ago and what they’d already collected this year, just so far now in the month of December, was over $900, based on the scrap value for Christmas lights that they have been donated so far.”
Next Step is giving the money it generates from holiday light recycling to Josea, a drop-in center for homeless youth. Bell says many waste companies have smart phone apps that tell you what can and cannot be recycled curbside. Many local charities will pick up and dispose of Christmas trees for a fee.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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