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Holiday Recycling Tips

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During the holidays, the quantity of wasted food is increased by as much as three times the amount that is normally wasted. Here are some tips to reduce the amount of food wasted and will help you save some money over the holidays and throughout the year.

Plan your meal;

  • Consider the number of guests, serving sizes, and how much of each dish you actually need.leftovers
  • Look in your refrigerator and cupboards first to avoid buying what you already have.
  • Make a list before you go shopping.

During the event;

  • Encourage smaller portions by using smaller plates.
  • Allow your guests to serve themselves.
  • Share leftovers by giving guests some to take home.

After the event;

  • Store leftovers in a reusable container for longer life
  • Make soups with leftover meat and turn leftover vegetables into a breakfast frittata.
  • Freeze any unprepared food until leftovers are gone. Compost any spoiled vegetables, breads, and fruit in the backyard compost bin. For more information on what can be composted, visit





Recycling is FREE and EASY in Chula Vista!

Residents: Curbside Collection

Place tree(s) at the curb on your regular collection day.

 Prepare Your Tree:

  • Remove all ornaments, tinsel, garland and plastic or metal stands.
  • When possible, cut tree into four-foot sections.

Remember: Plastic trees are NOT recyclable and must be disposed of as trash!


Fire Safety:

  • Keep trees away from heat registers, ducts and fireplaces
  • Keep plenty of water in the stand or bucket of sand; don't let the tree get dry
  • Unplug tree lights when you are not home and before you go to bed
  • Keep a charged fire extinguisher handy
  • Recycle or dispose of your tree as soon as the holidays are over 
  • Be careful not to overload electrical outlets with lights/decorations



It's easy to dispose of your cooking oil!


Put used cooking oil in a bottle/container with a watertight lid. Call Republic Services at (619) 421-9400 two days before your regular collection day. Then put your oil at the curb.


Take oil to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility* located at 1800 Maxwell Road on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am -1 pm.


*The facility is closed the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the last two weeks of December, and New Year's Day.





  • Replace your old incandescent holiday lights with high efficiency LED light strands. LED's use up to 90% less energy, do not get as hot as incandescent lights and last much longer.
  • Make sure to turn your lights off late at night by plugging your indoor and outdoor lights into a timer set to turn off late at night.
  • Make sure all the lights you purchase contain the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label, which means they meet UL safety requirements







One of the most common mistakes recyclers find in the blue bins at this time of year is gift wrap. Much of the glossy or laminated gift wrap that’s popular around Christmas can’t be recycled; neither can many of the ribbons, especially those with wire mesh.

Newsprint, paper grocery bags or other natural-fiber paper are a better alternative because they are recyclable. Gift bags, reusable shopping bags, or totes are another good option because they can be utilized multiple times.






If you receive gifts by mail this year, break down the cardboard boxes to save space and make sure they end up in your recycling container.






  • Slow cookers and pressure cookers use far less energy than an oven or stove-top.
  • Check on cooking food by turning on the oven light instead of opening the oven door, which can lower the temperature by as much as 25 degrees.
  • Use your microwave and toaster oven for smaller holiday dishes instead of the oven.

also, don't forget to...

  • Throw disposable plates, napkins and paper towels in the trash or compost pile.Soiled paper cups, plates, plastic food ware and napkins aren’t recyclable. It’s best to skip the disposables in favor of reusables when possible. But if you are using disposable tableware, it should go in the trash.
  • Keep plastic bags and other film plastics away from the recycling bin because they tend to clog up the recycling system. There are screens that spin, and if you’ve ever seen a vacuum cleaner when it picks up a string or hair that just gets wound up, it’s like that. Plastic bags could shut down the entire recycling system for an hour or so just by getting bound up in the equipment.


For additional information please contact us by calling the Environmental Service hotline at 619-691-5122 or email us at

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