December 20, 2023

How to Properly Dispose of Holiday Items

Disposal tips for gift wrapping, electronics and Christmas trees.

Christmas trees piled up in parking lot at recycling event

As we near the end of the year, we look forward to the joys of decorating, hosting, gift-giving and other holiday festivities. However, one daunting task always remains in the back of our minds – the cleanup. Soon, we are left with remnants of gift wrapping, discarded electronics that have since been replaced and dilapidated decorations. To alleviate the post-holiday cleanup stress, check out the gift wrapping, electronics and Christmas tree disposal tips below.

Holiday Gift Wrapping Disposal

As you exchange gifts this holiday season, let’s unwrap what gift wrapping you can and cannot recycle in Virginia Beach.

What to Recycle:

  • Non-coated wrapping paper.
  • Non-laminated gift bags.
  • Flattened cardboard boxes and cardboard packaging.

What to Toss or Reuse:

  • Laminated, shiny or glittery wrapping paper and gift bags.
  • Ribbons and bows.
  • Tissue paper, plastic foam such as Styrofoam, plastic packaging, bubble wrap and packing peanuts.
  • Sticky gift labels.

Old Electronics Disposal

Upgrading your electronics this holiday? Dispose of old electronics responsibly at the Virginia Aquarium’s E-Cycling event on Jan. 20, 2024, from 9 a.m. to noon, presented by PRA Group. Rain or shine, participants can safely and properly dispose of old, broken or expired child safety seats, used vehicle batteries, personal electronic items and more. The event will be a drive-through in the Aquarium’s East Parking Lot with participating vendors including AAA Tidewater Virginia, Goodwill Industries and TFC Recycling.

Christmas Tree Disposal

When the number of needles on the ground becomes “pine-ful,” and you are ready to “spruce” up your living room, here are several ways you can bid a “fir-m” farewell to your Christmas tree.

Drop-Off at the Virginia Aquarium

The Virginia Aquarium is collecting and recycling live-cut Christmas trees in support of marine-focused conservation in partnership with Marine Stewards America. From Dec. 26 to Jan. 6, bring your Christmas tree to the Aquarium’s East Parking Lot and drop it off in the designated area for recycling.

Marine Stewards America will use the trees to restore sand dunes along the coastline, which supports our local marine ecosystem by controlling erosion, providing nutrients for beach plants, creating habitats for beach animals, and keeping waste out of the landfill. Acceptable trees for drop-off must be bare and live-cut trees.

Curbside Collection

Christmas trees are collected as regular yard waste on your normal collection day. Trees must be curbside and free of their stand, tinsel, lights and ornaments.

Landfill & Resource and Recovery Center

Trees taken to the City’s Landfill & Resource Recovery Center, located at 1989 Jake Sears Road, will be chipped and used for mulch by City landscape crews. Trees must be free of their stand, lights, ornaments and tinsel.

The Landfill & Resource Recovery Center will be closed Dec. 22 to 25 and Jan. 1.

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