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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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BPS News: What to do with holiday packaging

When the gift-giving frenzy is over, we are often left with piles of gift bags, wrapping paper, boxes and other packaging. Here are some tips for sorting the wrapping rather than letting it all go to waste.

Reuse or donate

Gift bags, durable ribbons and bows, boxes or other packaging materials in good condition (including wrapping paper) can be used again. Under-the-bed storage boxes or other durable containers can make storage easy and convenient. If you’d rather not store gift packaging, you may donate to SCRAP for creative reuse.


Some gift wrap items can be recycled at the curb, including:

  • Wrapping paper without glitter or other shiny coatings.
  • Tissue paper.
  • Cardboard boxes.
  • Other holiday items like cards, envelopes, catalogs, paper product packaging, notecards and instruction manuals.

Toss the rest

After sorting out the reusable and recyclable items, the remaining items should go in curbside garbage (or to a non-curbside recycling facility, if applicable):

  • Shiny or glittery wrapping.
  • Bows, ribbon and gift bags that can’t be reused.
  • Hard plastic product packaging, packing peanuts and styrofoam blocks (these items may be recycled at a non-curbside facility).

If your household has extra garbage, you can set out extra bags on your collection day for $5 each. Extra garbage must be 32 gallons or smaller and weigh 55 lbs. or less. Renters should arrange with landlords to authorize extra garbage collection.

Use the Curbside Collection E-schedule to find your pickup schedule, sign up for weekly reminders and look up your garbage and recycling company.

For additional curbside collection information, visit our Residential Service website.