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Bag the holiday gift-wrap paper

December 13, 2008|By LEIF E. GREEN

Are you like me? Do you buy lots of wrapping paper a week or so after Christmas to use next year? Or, do you buy wrapping paper from the neighborhood kids as a fundraiser? I've done both for years, so I now have a lot of wrapping paper.

I'm going to do it a little different this year, though. I'm not going to buy wrapping paper after the holidays. Did you know it is generally not recyclable? You might think that it is, but all the ink and the diversity of materials in the paper just make it unusable and basically too hard for paper recycling companies to deal with. Check out this Web page from Earth911.com - earth911.com/paper and click on the link for wrapping paper.

Also, I don't want to add more trash to the landfill. I was reading an article in The Herald-Mail a couple of weeks ago. Rodney Tissue, the Hagerstown city engineer in charge of city waste and recycling contracts, said that after Christmas, there isn't that much more tonnage that's added to the landfill, but there is much more volume.

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In other words, all that paper just goes to waste.

It got me thinking. What should I do? Well, I've also been collecting gift bags of every size imaginable over the years. I also have a huge shopping bag of used tissue in my wrapping paper closet.

So I've decided I'm only going to use gift bags this year. My family won't mind what their gifts are swaddled in. And the joy of this is that I will not have any garbage bags of just wrapping paper out on the curb after Christmas. I'll be able to reuse all those gift bags and tissue again next year.

As for all that wrapping paper, I will donate it to my church, which gives gifts to children of low-income families.

Leif E. Green is the nom de plume of a columnist writing on behalf of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force. Today's columnist is Kathy Vesely.

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