Sorting the holiday trash and treasure: A recycling guide

Holidays generally mean more trash, but the holidays can also mean more recycling.


Presents mean packaging and while some packaging material is recyclable, some is not. Here is a list of common packaging material and where the material can go:

  • Wrapping paper not recyclable, must be placed in the garbage
  • Tissue paper not recyclable, must be place in the garbage or reused
  • Styrofoam not recyclable, must be placed in the garbage
  • Shirt boxes recyclable with the tissue paper removed
  • Cardboard toy boxes recyclable with any plastic handles or twist ties removed
  • Shredded paper recyclable, place in a paper bag in your CURBY cart to reduce the mess
  • Plastic bubble wrap if bubbles are popped can be recycled at grocery stores with plastic bags

Extra Recycling

There is no limit to the amount of recycling you set out each week. If you fill up your CURBY cart you can also set out one or more cardboard boxes (maximum size: 2ft. x 2ft. x 3ft.) filled with recyclable items. The Solid Waste & Recycling crew member will collect the box and its contents. Please be aware that the wind may blow some items out of the box. Residents can either close the lid and clearly mark the box as recycling or restrict items in the extra box to those that are less likely to blow in the wind.

Also, there are three recycling drop-off sites available to all Cedar Rapids residents. Learn more at

Extra Trash

If after all of your efforts your GARBY cart still fills up, the extra bags can be set beside the GARBY cart with an extra $1.50 sticker on each bag. Extra garbage bags must be 35 gallons or less and weigh less than 40 pounds. Bags can no longer be set out in garbage cans. If your GARBY cart fills up on a regular basis, please call the Solid Waste & Recycling Division at 319-286-5897 for more information.

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