OHIO — The holidays have arrived and that means many people are getting together to share a meal and exchange presents. It also means extra garbage.

What You Need To Know

  • The amount of waste Americans produce rises significantly during the holiday season 

  • You can reduce the amount of waste you produce by reusing and recycling holiday gift wraps

  • Make sure you are checking what can and can't go into the recycling bin

According to Stanford University, "Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage or about 1 million extra tons per week."

The Cleveland Heights Green Team is a grassroots organization that was started this year by Natalie Elwell and Catalina Wagers. Their goal is to help their community live a greener lifestyle.

One way they are doing this is with the introduction of their 'naughty and nice' holiday recycling list. 

This list is intended to help people remember what they can and cannot recycle. 

Items that can be recycled are on the nice list and items that can not be recycled are on the naughty list. 

Here is a look at the items that made the 'naughty list':

  • Christmas lights
  • Styrofoam 
  • Plastic bags 
  • Plastic dishes, cutlery, and cups
  • Bubble wrap
  • Cellophane
  • Ribbons
  • Bows
  • Batteries
  • Food packaging and waste
  • Foam packaging
  • Plastic toys
  • Any recyclable materials smaller than a credit card

Here is a look at this years 'nice list':

  • Cardboard and paper boxes for gifts and shoes
  • Wrapping paper that’s plain (without glitter and embellishments)
  • Plain paper gift bags
  • Holiday cards and envelopes that don’t have embellishments like glitter and glued on decorations
  • Clean plastic, glass, and aluminum containers, plastic caps or lids on

The group said the most important thing to remember this holiday season is that if you aren’t sure if something can be recycled, you should throw it away in the garbage. The phrase they use is, 'when in doubt, just throw it out.'