Enter your number to get our free mobile app

During the holiday season, around 25% more waste is produced than usual. Holiday traditions may create waste, but by reusing and recycling, we can reduce that waste.

"When sharing gifts this holiday season, please make room for the new by donating, selling, or recycling items you no longer need. The reuse or recycling of items will save valuable landfill space. And as important, please remember to only place the correct materials in recycling carts to keep the recycling program running efficiently.” said David Hickox, Director of Public Works in Dartmouth.

“Residents may have questions about which items can be recycled curbside or at the transfer station as well as what to do with their Christmas trees after the holiday. We are sharing this information now to help our residents prepare,” said Mark Champagne, Director of the Department of Facilities and Fleet Management in New Bedford.

Here are a few tips to help ensure holiday waste ends up in the right place:

  • Cardboard: Empty and flatten boxes (cut if necessary); place in the black lid recycling cart. Take large boxes to the Dartmouth Transfer Station. Recycle empty pizza boxes. Studies show that grease on the box is okay for recycling (food is not, so remove all pizza). Liners and plastic pizza savers go in the trash.
  • Some items cannot be recycled. Wrapping paper is not recyclable. If you want to be able to recycle your gift wrap, use newspaper, grocery store flyers, paper bags, or reuse packaging paper (or buy a roll). Give gifts in reusable bags, jars, or tins. Bows, ribbons, and string cannot be recycled, reuse when possible. Place cardboard boxes, gift boxes, greeting cards (no metallic inks, foil, batteries, or glitter), catalogs, and other clean paper in the black lid cart. Place empty bottles, cans, jugs, and jars in the gray lid cart.
  • Styrofoam blocks and string lights in Dartmouth: Clean Styrofoam blocks can be recycled at the Dartmouth Transfer Station, 976 Russells Mills Road, Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 am to 3:15 pm and on Saturday from 7:30 am to 2:45 pm. Permit required. String lights can be placed in the designated cart at the transfer station until January 30, 2021. These items do not belong in the curbside recycling carts.
  • Styrofoam blocks and string lights in New Bedford: Clean blocks of Styrofoam can be recycled at the Shawmut Avenue Transfer Station at 1103 Shawmut Avenue. String lights can be placed in the designated cart at the transfer station. These items do not belong in the curbside recycling carts.
  • Sustainable gifts: Consider environmentally friendly gifts such as experiences (online music or dance lessons), gift cards, products made of recyclable material, reusable items, or handmade presents.

And, once your Christmas tree has been undecorated, here are ways in which it can be properly disposed of.

Dartmouth:

  • Christmas tree collection: SMART Program participants - real Christmas trees are scheduled to be picked up on the same day as your solid waste (separate truck) the weeks of January 4 and January 11. The collection begins at 7 am. Please remove all ornaments, stands, lights, and tinsel. Do not place trees in plastic bags. This schedule is subject to change with unforeseen weather conditions.
  • Christmas tree drop-off: Dartmouth residents may drop off real Christmas trees at the brush area located at the Department of Public Works/Water Pollution Control Facility, 759 Russells Mills Road, Dartmouth. The hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7:30 am to 3:15 pm, and on Saturday from 7:30 am to 2:45 pm. A Transfer Station sticker is required. Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

New Bedford:

  • Christmas tree collection: ABC Disposal will pick up real Christmas trees from January 11 to January 15. During this week only, residents may place trees at the curb by 7 am the weekday after trash and recycling collection. Please note, if your trash is usually collected on Friday, Christmas trees will only be collected along your route on Monday, January 11. If your trash is usually collected on Mondays, Christmas trees will only be collected along your route on Tuesday, January 12, and so on. The City will not collect Christmas trees curbside at any other time; if placed at the curb any other time, property owners may be issued a violation notice. Please remove all ornaments, stands, lights, and tinsel. Do not place trees in plastic bags.
  • Christmas tree drop-off: Starting on Saturday, December 26, Christmas trees can be brought to the following locations:
    • E Rodney French Blvd, beach parking lot, between Hudson Street and Seymour Street, ends on Friday, January 15.
    • Brooklawn Park, near Pony League Field, enter at Irvington Street, ends on Friday, January 15.
    • Shawmut Avenue Transfer Station, 1103 Shawmut Avenue, open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from noon to 5:00 pm and on Saturday from 7:30 am to 3 pm. The Transfer Station will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

If you have questions, please send an email to Marissa@gnbrrmdistrict.org.

CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads