Curbside Recycling your Christmas and Holiday Greeting Cards

Recycling programs are accepting more types of items every day.

If your city’s curbside recycling accepts magazines it is more than likely that your old and leftover Christmas and holiday cards can be placed in your recycling bin or with the newspapers. Usually Christmas, holiday and all standard greeting cards are accepted as part of the mixed office paper category which includes junk mail, office paper, loose leaf paper, manila folders, and even paperback books.

However, please limit the amount of cards and envelopes with glitter and metallic foil, they have to get “floated off” or sunk in the pulping process, which creates more waste material from the recycling process.


Never recycle Christmas, holiday or other greeting cards dyed with fluorescent or deep dark inks because in the pulping process of recycling paper, those colors run/bleed making it difficult to get an even color on the new paper, and reduce the new paper’s ability to accept printing ink properly. It’s OK to recycle light colored paper that has been dyed a darker color; check the paper by tearing it to see if the base paper is light.

If your cards or envelopes uses any of these non recyclable materials or processes please dispose of them in the normal trash or try and re-use or re purpose them. Additionally, it is possible for some cards to be partially recyclable. Cut off the contaminated portion and recycle the rest.

As with any regional programs it is best to call your local recycling center or trash hauler to make sure they accept Christmas and holiday greeting cards and how they would like to receive them.