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Shopping season is officially underway in Teton Valley as locals and visitors alike search for holiday presents, food to feed extended family, and winter sports gear. All this shopping adds up to increased waste: according the US EPA about 25 percent more waste is generated in the month of December.

To counter waste this holiday season, Teton Valley Community Recycling is hosting a free, self-serve gift wrapping station at the Teton Geo Center located in the Driggs City Center. Drop off extra gift boxes, wrapping paper, or holiday cards. We’ll also take tree ornaments or unwanted 2020 calendars! (No bubble wrap or garbage, please.)

Got gifts to wrap or ship? Come in and reuse the materials dropped off by others to cut down on your holiday waste and expense. The wrapping station is located in the area that is open 24-hours a day. While you are there, check out our Recycling Education Center!

Contact Iris at tetonrecycling@gmail.com or 208-557-1193 if you have any questions.

Low Waste Holiday Wrapping Tips and Tricks

1. Use newspaper, kids’ art or other recycled paper to wrap your gifts. Most commercial packaging and wrapping paper cannot be recycled at the transfer station. Save bows, ribbons, and large pieces of wrapping paper for future gifts.

2. Save bubble wrap for next year, donate it to a local artist, Peak Printing, save it for a Trashion outfit at next year's Trash Bash, or pop the bubbles and recycle it with your plastic bags curbside with RAD or bring to Jackson for recycling (NOTE: Plastic bags and bubble wrap should be consolidated into one plastic bag and NOT intermingled with the rest of the recycling in your RAD bin.)

3. If new electronics were a part of your holiday, make sure you recycle your old electronics and batteries (free!) at the Transfer Station.

4. Even your holiday tree is recyclable! Drop it off at the brush pile at the transfer station for $2, where it will be made into wood chips. Remember to remove all lights and ornaments first! Real trees only, not artificial or trees with decorations still on. Those will be charged household trash rate ($80/ton).

5. If you upgraded to more energy efficient LED lighting this year or have broken light strings, recycle your lights at the Transfer Station green building or drop off at the Geo Center or ACE Hardware collection bins.

6. Also recycle these items at the Transfer Station: clean corrugated cardboard (remove all plastic and packing paper), mixed paper (newspaper, office paper; NO packing paper and NO gift wrap), clean #1 & #2 plastic bottles without lids, glass, clean aluminum and steel cans. Gray board is also accepted and may be baled for use on site. Magazines and Books are no longer recycled in Teton County, Idaho. Bring to Jackson.

Did you know that Americans create 25 percent more waste between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and nearly double their waste right after Christmas? According to a study by the Center for a New American Dream, nine out of ten of us believe that the holidays should be about family and caring rather than "stuff", yet we still plan on spending 11 percent more on holiday gifts this year than last year.

Start small and take one step at a time. Visit us at the Geo Center for your free wrapping paper and packaging and check out our great TerraCycle station for recycling additional waste!