Holiday Waste Reduction

by Angela Goebel — Waste generation increases an average 93 lbs. per household per month between December and January. This holiday season, consider these tips to reduce, reuse and recycle!
Check out for more information on local recycling programs.

?Food Waste
Visit for tips on how to reduce your food waste through smart meal planning, proper food storage, and recipes for leftovers. Food scraps and plate scrapings can be dropped off at farmers markets in Carmel, Marina, and Pacific Grove for composting.
More details at

Used Cooking Oil
MRWMD’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility accepts up to 15 gallons of used cooking oil. You can also recycle curbside with a Used Oil Recovery Kit from GreenWaste Recovery. Call for more details 831.920.6707.

Beverage Containers
MRWMD’s Buy Back Center, located behind the Last Chance Mercantile, pays cash for CRV bottles and cans. Non-CRV containers may be taken to MRWMD’s free recycling drop-off in front of the store. The Buy Back Center is open 9 am-4 pm, Monday-Friday and 9 am-3 pm, Saturday.

Christmas Trees
Through January 31, you can drop off your tree at MRWMD for free or place it with yard waste for curbside pickup. Trees over six feet must be cut in half, and all lights, decorations and stands must be removed. Flocked trees are not accepted.
?Gifts and Decorations
Last Chance Mercantile accepts donations of holiday decorations all year long. Or, shop Last Chance for tree ornaments and white elephant gifts. Last Chance also accepts and resells reusable household goods like kitchenware, books, clothing, furniture, and sporting goods.

Holiday Lights
If the lights are broken, drop them off at the electronic waste recycling center   
behind Last Chance Mercantile. If the lights still work, please donate them to Last Chance Mercantile.

Wrapping Paper
Clean wrapping paper without foil or plastic lining can go in curbside recycling bins or be taken to MRWMD’s recycling drop-off. All tape and ribbon must be removed. Gift bags are not recyclable, so reuse them or donate them to the Last Chance Mercantile at MRWMD.?
Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam)
Due to changes in the global recycling market, polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) is no longer accepted curbside in the blue bin. MRWMD’s recycling drop-off will also accept clean polystyrene packaging (no food containers) in the month of January.

MRWMD accepts electronics for free behind the Last Chance Mercantile Accepted electronics include televisions, computers, and microwaves. ?
Household Batteries
Waste Management and GreenWaste Recovery allow household batteries to be recycled curbside when placed in clear bags on top of your recycling cart. For specific battery types accepted, visit Batteries are also accepted at MRWMD’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, open 9 am-4 pm, Tuesday – Saturday.

~Please share this information with your friends, co-workers and neighbors.
By doing your part, you give the best possible gift for our planet, community and future.

Angela Goebel is the Public Education and Outreach Specialist for the Monterey Regional Waste Management District

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