Denver recycling contractor won’t accept gift wrap

The city’s recycling contractor, Alpine Waste & Recycling, said it’s due to changing paper markets.
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Workers pick through a stream of recycled materials inside the Altogether Recycling center in Globeville, Dec. 3, 2018.
(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The city won't accept wrapping paper for recycling this year after its recycling contractor told city officials they would no longer process it.

Alpine Waste & Recycling, who serves as the city's recycling contractor, cited changes in paper markets that demand higher quality recycled paper. They told the city about the changes two weeks ago, Public Works spokesperson Heather Burke said on Thursday.

Gift wrap is usually thin and is sometimes filled with glitzy metallic sparkles. High quantities of low-quality gift wrap can reduce the quality of a paper load. Burke said the city does not know how long the restriction will last and the department is encouraging people to re-use gift wrap when possible and to find alternatives for gift wrapping beyond the holidays. Reusable materials like fabrics or recyclable paper like newsprint or craft paper are some possible alternatives.

While all unusable gift wrap needs to be thrown away, Denverites can still recycle their Christmas trees through the city's annual treecycle program. The Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off also accepts broken holiday lights (no liquid-filled or neon bulbs) until Jan. 18.

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