Is it compost, waste or recyclable?

Tips for sorting waste

Christmas Cards, Packaging and Gift Wrapping Items

  • Wrapping paper usually goes in compost (don’t worry about a little bit of tape) but foil and cellophane goes in waste.
  • Box board (gift boxes, etc.) goes in compost, not recyclable.
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes are recyclable.
  • Styrofoam, bows, string and ribbons are waste.
  • Greeting cards are usually compost, but go in waste if they contain plastic or foil.
  • Envelopes are usually paper (recyclable), unless foil lined. If so, they are waste.
Do not burn wrapping paper in a wood stove or fireplace. Read more fire safety tips.


  • Those cute musical greeting cards actually have batteries, so remove the batteries to properly dispose of them. Drop off any batteries at a Waste Watch Drop-Off Center or look for a battery recycling bin at grocery stores and provincial libraries. For additional drop-off locations and disposal instruction visit
  • Any unwanted electronics can be dropped off a Waste Watch Drop-Off Center for free disposal.
  • Did you know you should tape over the ends of lithium, lithium-Ion and small sealed lead acid batteries or individually bag each of these batteries? This helps prevent a potential fire hazard.

Christmas Light Strings

  • Christmas light strings that no longer work go into the blue bag #2 along with plastics, glass and metals. Same goes for extension cords that no longer work. Remove bulbs from Christmas lights if possible. Bulbs are accepted for free at Waste Watch Drop-Off Centers. Additional drop-off locations and disposal instructions are listed on

Christmas Trees and Other Greenery

  1. Remove all decorations. Do not place tree in a bag.

  2. Place curbside by 7 a.m. Monday, January 8, 2024

  3. Your tree may not be collected at the same time as your cart, the trees will be collected during the week of January 8 –12, 2024

  4. Trees longer than 8 feet or heavier than 50 lbs must be cut down to be less than 8 feet and 50 pounds.

  5. Ensure the tree is always accessible for the driver – not covered in snow or stuck in ice.

  6. Call the Customer Service Centre no later than January 16, 2024, if your tree was curbside by 7 a.m. on January 8th and it was not collected.

  7. Trees from households may be dropped off at a WWDC free-of-charge for the month of January or given to a goat farmer (list of registered farmers on IWMC website)

  8. Anyone whose religious traditions, etc. will be affected by the pickup date is encouraged to call IWMC to make arrangements (e.g. celebrate Orthodox Christmas).

Odds and Ends

When in doubt, check out the IWMC interactive sorting guide by Island Waste Management Corporation, or call customer service toll-free at 1-888-280-8111. Or, download a free Recycle Coach app for easy access to IWMC sorting information, collection calendars, reminders and notifications.

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