Plain, easily ripped wrapping paper can be recycled, Regina says

The City of Regina has asked people to separate plain, easily ripped wrapping paper so it can be properly recycled.

City joins Saskatoon in allowing recycling of used gift wrap

The City of Regina has reversed an earlier decision not to allow recycling of wrapping paper. (CBC)

The City of Regina has made some changes to its "no wrapping paper" recycling policy. 

The city will allow residents to recycle some kinds of gift wrap, but is asking people to separate different types of wrapping paper before disposing of it.

Any paper with foil, metallic elements, laminates or glitter should be thrown in the trash. Any plain wrapping paper that can be easily ripped can be recycled. 

The city also asks that ribbons, bows and scotch tape be removed from paper before it's blue-binned.

The municipality announced last week that holiday gift wrap was no longer recyclable in its blue bin program. However, the city has gone back on that policy.

Regina 'passionate about recycling'

Lisa Legault, the director of solid waste for the City of Regina, said the change was made in partnership with the city's contracted recycling company, Emterra.

"We've come to realize how passionate our residents are about recycling," Legault said.

The original policy was an attempt to simplify the recycling process, she said, as the wrapping paper has been a common problem for the recycling process in the past.

"There is no intent to make a profit," Legault said, adding the recycling program was set up on a cost-recovery basis. 

The city receives 25 per cent of the revenue Emterra earns from selling recycled paper, she said. It is then factored into the calculation of the residents' user fees.

"The more revenue is earned from the commodity sales, the less the residents are paying in user fees," Legault said.

Ultimately, the goal is to have a program that improves waste diversion and reduces the amount of waste going to the landfill, she added. 

Not an issue in Saskatoon

In Saskatoon, it's business as usual — residents can continue to recycle most of their wrapping paper.

"Our rule is: If you can rip it easily, you can recycle it," says Ryan Buhay, community relations co-ordinator with Loraas, the contractor for the city's recycling program.

He said the amount of tape and other plastics in gift wrap would be minimal. 

"For us, it's more about letting people know that certain types of things at Christmas are not recyclable, like shiny foil wrapping paper or old toys or Christmas lights or Christmas trees," he said. "That's the big issue, that's the big problem; wrapping paper's not a huge deal for us."