‘Tis the season for handcrafted holidays!

wrapped gifts

Make your holiday gifts stand out with unique, homemade wrapping! Traditional wrapping paper is a big waste of resources—and most of it can’t be recycled. But you can create a merry mood with materials close at hand. Using fabric or tea towels, magazines or newspaper makes for one-of-a-kind giftwrap. Make your own personalized patterns on sheets of tissue paper. Or build a gift box out of an old album cover!

And that handmade holiday spirit doesn’t stop with the wrapping. There are plenty of ways to make the season shine without all that clutter. Instead of buying more stuff, this year try creating homemade gifts for the people you care about. Your family and friends will be thrilled by the personal touch!

Some holiday recycling reminders:

  • Place clean and dry tissue paper and cardboard in the blue cart
  • Dispose of polystyrene and foam in the black cart
  • Commercial gift wrap, and shiny, laminated, or textured bows and ribbons go in the black cart (or pack up and re-use them next year!)

Winter waste not

man carrying Christmas tree

From November to January, Republic Services collects 17% more waste than the rest of the year! To make sure you’re covered, Republic offers extra pick-ups for compost and recycling up to four times a year per household! You can book your extra pick-ups two weeks in advance by calling 925-685-4711.

Here are some tips to help you cut down on holiday waste:

  • Avoid flocking! Trees or greenery with fake snow, or flocking, can’t be composted. Flocking is actually made of plastic.
  • Reuse ornaments, ribbons or garlands to decorate your greenery!
  • When you toss your pumpkins and leftovers into the compost, remember to remove all packaging and decorations.
  • Republic also schedules tree pickup dates in January­—watch your mailbox for the flyer above!

To get more info about compost and special holiday pickups, you can visit RecycleSmart.org

How it works

aluminum can
recyclling statistics - contact us for more information

About that plastic

After 2-3 cycles, plastic is too brittle to work with and becomes trash. Even with huge companies like Starbucks working to include more recycled content, drink containers have maxed out at 2-3% post-consumer plastic . But with a new California law signed Sept. 24, plastic bottles must contain 15% recycled plastic by 2022, 25% by 2025, and 50% recycled plastic by 2030.

Learn more about Assembly Bill 793

woman in recycle smart covid mask

Show off your RecycleSmarts

Get your very own RecycleSmart face covering! Just “like us” on Facebook (facebook.com/CCCSWA), then send an email to Authority@RecycleSmart.org with the subject line “Free Mask” and include your address. We’ll mail you a mask!


There are new items in our lives lately; you can use this BINGO game to sort them properly. When you’re done using an item, sort the item as shown and make an X in that box. Make a line of Xs (in any direction) for a winning board.

Send us a photo of your winning board and we’ll send you a RecycleSmart cloth mask: Authority@RecycleSmart.org

Click the image below to print at full size.

bingo image

Compost with us!

picture of compost

I’ve been catching more compost than ever with my new food scrap kitchen container. Can you point me to some guides for backyard or home composting?

—Andrea J., Danville


Your question is right on time, Andrea! We are launching online composting workshops this fall. The first session is scheduled for Saturday, December 5.

Home Composting Workshop (Online) Saturday, December 5 at 10am

Register at RecycleSmart.org/workshops

Readers, if you would like a food scrap kitchen container like Andrea, contact Republic Services at 925-685-4711 to request one. They’ll deliver it right to you.

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Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

Send your ideas to Authority@RecycleSmart.org


Color these compost critters

These cuties are turning food and garden scraps into plant food. Color them in to bring them to life (figuratively, that is)!

We’re updating our kids’ resources all the time, find more activities online at RecycleSmart.org/schools

black and white coloring image for kids and adults

Click the image above to print at full size.