Tell me it isn't so. You can't recycle wrapping paper, and bubble wrap, even? Nope, not according to the Kent County Department of Public Works Department. And, all these years of recycling, I've been throwing Christmas wrapping paper in our recycling cart. Oops!

Some people have even been including Christmas lights, and they are a no-no, too.  .

With the holidays, our waste dramatically goes up. So, The Kent County DPW has come out with their holiday guidelines of dos and don’ts:

DO bring reusable shopping bags. Remember to bring reusable bags when Christmas shopping or going to any store, not just the grocery store.

DO NOT recycle wrapping or tissue paper. Wrapping and tissue paper cannot be recycled because it’s low-quality paper that paper mills can’t use to make new paper products. Reduce use of wrapping paper this holiday season by using other creative materials to wrap gifts, such as old maps, colorful cloth or old gift bags.

DO separate packaging. From plastic to cardboard to strings and zip ties, it’s important to separate packaging materials before recycling them. For example, if a toy comes in a plastic package that also has cardboard, make sure to separate both materials before recycling.

DO NOT throw away electronics. Before throwing away old appliances, gaming systems or other electronics, visit Kent County DPW’s recycling guide.
DO recycle glass bottles. Remember to rinse all glass bottles before placing them in a recycling bin.

DO NOT recycle artificial Christmas trees. Instead, donate them to thrift stores. For those who put up real trees, remember to remove all ornaments, tinsel and other decorations before taking them to a local drop off site.

The Kent County DPW also reminds residents to safely dispose of hazardous materials such as fireworks, cooking oil, propane tanks and ammunition by taking these items to a local drop-off center for safe disposal. These items should never be placed in a trash or recycling bin. For drop-off locations, visit

For a full list of holiday waste and recycling tips, download Kent County DPW’s guide here.

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