What waste goes where: 2020 Holiday Edition

November 24, 2020

Holiday season in the era of COVID-19 means fewer gatherings, smaller guest lists – and a greater risk than usual for food waste. Check out these tips for sustainably navigating your holiday festivities in 2020. 

Love your Leftovers 

Fewer friends and family enjoying the same number of classic dishes is a recipe for food waste. Even if leftovers are part of your holiday tradition, tools like Sustainable America’s portion estimator can help you size your feast with intention. Properly storing any leftovers you do generate in your freezer will help ensure that food never has to go to waste. Bought too many of your nonperishable favorites? Consider sharing your surplus with the community. Checkout StopWaste’s Recycle Where? Tool for more information about opportunities for local food donation.     

Don’t Pour Turkey Grease, Oils, or Fats Down the Drain 

A pan of turkey grease is an unavoidable part of any oven-baked bird. If you end up with more than you can soak up with stuffing or whip up into gravy, be sure to discard it properly. Once cooled, pour all grease into a sturdy paper container like an empty box or egg carton. Be sure to capture as much grease as possible by wiping greasy pans and dishes with a paper towel or newspaper. Then, place all soiled paper items directly into the green organics bin. Fats, oils, and greases should never be directly poured down drains or garbage disposals.  

Broken Glass Goes in the Trash 

No holiday party is complete without a few party fouls. A broken plate, cup, wine glass, or baking dish is fine, but these types of glassware are not recyclable and should be placed in the trash.  

Personal Protective Equipment 

If your gathering involves disposable masks and gloves, remember to dispose of them in the trash bin, not the recycling.   

For a more comprehensive list of sorting dos and don’ts, view Waste Management’s recycling guides for residents and businesses.