Over the next few days, many families all across Manitoba will be celebrating with presents, feasts, treats, snacks and more. And while we hope this means some extra special time with family and friends, it will also mean plenty of garbage. With it being Christmas weekend, it’s time for residents to start thinking about what they’ll be throwing out or recycling when it comes to Christmas wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, paper, and trees.

Christine Major is the manager at Portage and District Recycling.

"I would say about 50 percent of the gift wrap is recyclable, providing that it's a paper-based product. Shiny anything paper we usually cannot accept, unfortunately. Those items would include ribbons, any of the shiny gift bags, and any of the shiny wrapping paper."

Much of the economy gift wrap can't be recycled either as that paper has generally already been recycled so many times that the fibers are gone and it can no longer be made into something else. 

Major says batteries are another big thing over the holidays and while they can't go into recycling bins, they can be dropped off at the facility.

"Yes, please drop them off. We're open 24 hours a day seven days a week for a wide variety of different products at our depot. Batteries are one, all kinds. Every item has a specific spot, and it has a designated poster above it, so you know where to put them. Please do not put batteries, electronic waste, any household hazardous waste, oil, or any materials like that, in your blue box. Bring them to the depot"

Major says people in the Portage area have been doing their part when it comes to recycling and most are very good about it. She adds the team is also expecting much more than usual over the next couple of weeks. The manager lists off a few more things that they cannot use.

"Styrofoam packaging, any of the air-filled plastic packaging they use to secure the items. We do not accept those. Any bread bags sandwich bags, grocery bags. There's a complete listing on our website.  It's very straightforward. Right at the top, you click what you can recycle. Right at the bottom in red are the items that we don't take."

The recycling schedule follows the city of Portage garbage collection cycle and there are no limits on how much you can recycle for any given pickup. Pick up will resume from Wednesday to Friday before breaking for the New Year and resuming on January 2nd.

One final tip - don't give away what you have inside the house. Like that 70-inch flat-screen TV. If you do get cardboard like that, turn it inside out, fold it up, and leave it in a nice little stack. Try to avoid leaving it open face so people can read what it is. Or better yet, just take it yourself to the depot at 700 Phillips Street.

The recycling schedule mimics the garbage collection schedule in Portage la Prairie and pick-up will resume on Wednesday with extra garbage container limits in effect.

The city recently announced its Christmas curbside collection service for solid waste will once again double for one collection cycle. The 4-container limit will be on the following days:

Wednesday, December 27 – Day 3
Thursday, December 28 – Day 4
Friday, December 29 – Day 5
Tuesday, January 2, – Day 1
Wednesday, January 3 – Day 2

The usual 2-container limit per household will resume on Thursday, January 4th.

The City of Portage la Prairie will once again be recycling Christmas trees this season as well. Trees may be placed on the boulevard in front of your residence and will be picked up between January 2nd and January 23rd. It should be noted that trees may or may not be picked up on your regular scheduled garbage day. You can also drop your tree off at the Burn Site, located behind St. Mary’s Cemetery, where trees will be picked up for recycling. The Burn Site is open 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week. For more information, call the Operations Department at 204-239-8346.


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