Conservation Experts Say Reuse and Recycle Holiday Gift Wrapping
If you have a pile of gift wrap and ribbon left from your Christmas presents, the Cornell Cooperative Extension has some tips to dispose of it in green environmentally friendly ways.
Cooperative Extension recycling experts say the greenest method to recycle your gift wrap is to remove it carefully and put it away to reuse it on another package. If that’s not an option the next best thing to do is recycle it. Unless it's the kind that has foil or some kind of waxy lining, most paper, including wrapping paper and tissue paper, is recyclable.
One thing you should never do with it is burn it. Burning glossy or waxy paper, especially if it is brightly colored or has a metallic finish, can release highly toxic chemicals into the air.
The third option is to compost it. If you have an active compost bin, you can compost many kinds of paper. If the paper is not glossy, does not have a plastic, waxy, or metallic coating it can be composted safely. Generally, if it tears easily, it's okay to compost it. In fact, in order to compost it, it is best to shred it as small as possible. She also notes that the paper rolls the wrapping paper is packaged with can be composted if torn into small bits.
The boxes those gifts come packaged in can also be recycled. And if they are very plain, some people will use them for sheet mulching in their gardens. But, again, boxes should also never be burned, because of the inks used to decorate them and the glues they contain.