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

  • Place your tree (the one that you’ve been diligently watering) curbside by 7 am, Monday, January 10.
  • Before you drag your tree to the curb, remove all ornaments and especially any wire that may have been used. Don’t bag it. If it’s taller than eight feet, you will need to cut it up into smaller chunks.

Throughout the month of January, Christmas trees may be dropped off to any Waste Watch Drop-Off Center at no charge. Waste Watch Drop-Off Centers are located in Brockton, New London, Dingwell Mills, Wellington Centre, Charlottetown and Murray River.

And, this year, IWMC is teaming up with local goat farms who graciously welcome trees for bedding and festive treats for their farm animals. A list of Island farms accepting trees can be found at Who knew that ‘used’ Christmas trees can be a nutritious snack for a goat?

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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