Framingham Recycles: Holiday Ribbons, Tags, Paper, Bows, Boxes, and Bags

Editor’s Note: This is a weekly column by the Recycling Coordinator for the City of Framingham. Residents can submit questions to Recycling Coordinator Stephen Sarnosky via SOURCE at


By Stephen Sarnosky

FRAMINGHAM – As we edge closer towards the Holiday season, I’d like to take time and go over the many recycling do’s and don’ts that come up this time of year. People are eager to know which seasonal items can be recycled and which items should be disposed of?

The following list of items is not exhaustive so if you need additional information please refer to DPW’s Waste Wizard.

Where Does it Go?

Ribbons and Bows can be reused if you like, however these items should be trashed at the end of the useful life.

Organic Christmas decorations such as trees, wreaths and ornaments should be composed and not placed in your recycling cart. Framingham DPW’s curbside Christmas tree collection is from January 7-11, 2020. Place Christmas trees at the curb and DPW will collect them.

Flattened cardboard boxes should be recycled, while bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts and packaging can be reused or placed in with the refuse.

Strings of lights should be trashed along with faux Christmas
trees. Please do not put Christmas trees in your recycle cart.

Poinsettias and potted plants, cut flowers and wreaths can be composted without their pots. Florist foam or wire frames should be trashed along with plastic bags.

Plastic bags can be recycled at your local grocer.

Aluminum and metal pie plates, containers, serving trays and beverage cans should be cleaned before recycling.

Paper plates, towels, and cups need to be disposed of in your refuse cart.

Holiday cards should be trashed, but envelops can be recycled as long as they do not contain glitter, photos, or foils.

Wrapping paper should not be recycled.

Food scraps from meal prep does not get recycled. Please place them in your trash cart.

Used alkaline batteries can be trashed, but recyclable batteries need to be recycled.

Electronics of any kind should not go into your recycle cart. Use the City’s “Pink Bag Program” to recycle electronics.

Recycling Q&A

A reader asked a question about recycling olive oil containers. “Can I recycle my olive oil tin? 

If so, do I need to remove the plastic spout?” You can recycle a used olive oil containers with the spout left on provided that it is “reasonable clean”. Meaning that most of the oil has been removed.

And one more question regarding junk mail.  “Sometimes it comes with cards, coupons, etc. stuck inside using that rubber removable glue.  Do we need to get that glue off before putting paper junk mail items in our recycling?”

You do not need to remove the glue from the cards, but note that the plastic credit card-like cards should be trashed because these items tend to fall through the processing cracks and will not get recycled.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: Phone: 508-315-7176

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