Cleaning up after the holidays

Christmas has come and gone, and there’s a good chance that many local families now have several bags of waste material to deal with.

All of those gifts that were distributed came with paper and plastic packaging. They were also wrapped in brightly colored paper or placed in festive boxes or gift bags.

Big holiday meals also left plenty of waste behind. From pop cans to plastic butter containers, bread bags and cans for vegetables, fruits and fillings, food and drink containers can pile up quickly.

It is always a good idea to remember that many of these materials can be recycled. This will help reduce the strain on local landfills and promote efficiency and a healthier planet. If you do not recycle on a regular basis but would like to learn how to do so, visit for instructions, tips and local recycling locations.

Trees can be “recycled,” too. If properly tended, a live Christmas tree can last through the entire holiday season. Eventually, though, it will begin to dry out and become a potential fire hazard. When it comes to disposing of the tree, consider these options:

∫ Return the tree to the outdoors, where the tree poses no risk and can be enjoyed by local wildlife. Trees placed in the backyard can act as a shelter for birds and other small animals such as squirrels, opossums and chipmunks. Trees sunk into ponds or lakes can also provide habitats for fish.

∫ The city of Marietta is offering residents a tree drop-off location at Buckeye Park. Trees can also be disposed of at Greenleaf Landscaping at no charge.

We urge readers to make the most of the season, and recycling is one way to do that. Enjoy all that Santa brought you, but dispose of any waste properly.