Take care in disposal of Christmas trees, tinsel, gift wrap

While residents deck the halls, giftwrap goodies and prepare for upcoming festivities, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority’s (MCIA) Recycling Division is issuing an advisory about the proper disposal of holiday-related items.

Products like greeting cards, envelopes and gift wrap are generally classified under mixed paper, with one major caveat, said MCIA Recycling Manager Ed Windas.

“We do not want nor can we take foil wrapping paper,” he said.

Even though most ornaments are primarily manufactured using glass or plastics, the division can only accept certain types of plastics, which are not typically found in these decorations.

“With respect to the glass ones, some may contain lead,” Windas said.

Leftover holiday trees technically fall under the division’s yard-waste program.

“Every strand of tinsel, every ornament and every string of lights must be removed,” Windas said. “Contractors turn those trees into mulch and those adornments will contaminate the end product.”

The same can be said for all natural garlands and wreaths, which must be detached from their wire frames prior to being left curbside, he added.

“We encourage our residents to recycle in so many ways, through community outreach, by employing our recycling robot and education program, as well as making general information available to them online,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Carol Bellante, who is deputy director of the freeholder board and liaison to the MCIA. “But we need and would appreciate it if they could follow these guidelines to make this holiday season’s process as seamless as possible.”

For more information, call 1-800-488- 6242.

Tree collection schedule: North Brunswick picked up in Jan. South Brunswick picked up Jan. 2 through the second full week of Jan.