What to do with holiday wrapping paper and boxes

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Christmas is a fun time for family gatherings and seeing everyone’s gifts but you can become a target for thieves if you aren’t careful.

Things like a 75-inch TV can be among those big gifts but police say leaving that box it comes in fully intact on the curb can attract thieves to your home.

That’s why it’s recommended you break down those big boxes and put them in big trash bags or even take the boxes yourself to a recycling drop-off. It’s also recommended you don’t take pictures of your new gadgets and toys and post them on social media.

Also, when you’re out of town, don’t post that information on social media either.

When you are out of town, lock your doors and close your garage, of course, and let your neighbors know you’re going to be out of town and ask them to keep an eye out or even give them a spare for safekeeping. If you even want to go one step further, you can set timers on lights and TVs so it looks like someone’s home.

Whether or not you’re home, be sure to reduce, reuse and recycle, as we’ve always heard. Matthew Whelan, the director of Albuquerque Solid Waste says the following items aren’t recyclable:

  • Most wrapping paper
  • Bows you tie around boxes
  • Ornaments
  • Christmas lights
  • Gift bags
  • Tissue paper

As an alternative, try wrapping your gifts in recyclable material, like paper bags and newspaper. If you’re getting gifts in cardboard boxes, be sure to break those down as you can recycle those too. Plus, tin boxes and metal tree stands are good to recycle.

Wreaths aren’t, however, and you should toss them in the trash and not the recycling bin.

“During this time of year, there’s a lot more extra stuff, a lot more paper, a lot more items, a lot more cardboard,” Whelan said, “It’s important, as we use more, to recycle more.”

If you have a real Christmas tree, you can recycle that as well. It can be dropped off starting December 26 at any of the following locations:

  • Eagle Rock Convenience Center, 6301 Eagle Rock NE, (505) 768-3925
  • Ladera Golf Course, 3401 Ladera Dr. NW, (505) 836-4449
  • Montessa Park Convenience Center, 3512 Los Picaros SE, (505) 768-3930, temporarily closed on Thursdays and Fridays

Click here to learn more about the City of Albuquerque’s “Treecycling” program.