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Brookhaven encourages recycling

After the melee of Christmas morning has passed and piles of torn wrapping paper sit crumpled under the tree, it’s worth considering saving room in your trash can and salvaging a little of your family’s holiday debris.

The Brookhaven Recycles program encourages environmental consciousness at the local level, and Christmas is the perfect time to start minimizing waste outputs. For example, certain items — like used wrapping paper and plastic containers labeled PETE No. 1 or HDPE No. 2 — can be efficiently repurposed through the citywide program.

Metal cans, mixed paper and cardboard can also be reprocessed through the recycling initiative. For anyone interested, mixed paper includes magazines, both hardcover and paperback books and slick copies.

So, cold drink cans, cardboard gift boxes and printed items should always be locally reprocessed. And any rinsed plastic cups and tableware can also be recycled.

However, plastic toys, plastic bags, glass, Styrofoam, soiled paper, chemical containers, electronics, garden hoses, lawn chairs, garbage cans or any plastics without the PETE No. 1 or HDPE No. 2 Symbols cannot be repurposed through Brookhaven Recycles.

A few big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot sometimes offer Christmas-light recycling, and — if you take old stings of lights to one of their locations — it helps keep non-biodegradable items out of area landfills.

While dropping off dead bulbs, it’s a good idea to purchase a few boxes of low-priced lights to replace any strands that might fizzle out next year.

After the holidays, new gifts often take the place of obsolete or heavily used household items. But some of the seasonal waste that winds up at state dumpsites can actually be recycled in larger cities like Jackson, or through specific companies. For example, even though Brookhaven Recycles can’t take electronics, many electric devices are actually recyclable.

The Environmental Service Center of Jackson at 1708 Terry Road can even take hazardous waste products like used motor oil, used oil filters, antifreeze, car batteries, household batteries, transmission and brake fluid, paint, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers, household cleaners, solvents, degreasers, adhesives, pool chemicals, photographic chemicals, paint thinners, stains and 20-pound propane tanks.

Curbside pickup through Brookhaven Recycles is available for city residents who use city-issued 18- or 35-gallon blue recycling containers. Pickup is Monday or Tuesday, depending on residential location, and times vary by location.

Recycling receptacles are also located throughout Brookhaven at most parks and recreation facilities, municipal buildings and throughout the downtown area. These containers are only accessible during the operational hours of each respective site.

More information on the Brookhaven Recycles program can be found at www.brookhavenms.com.