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Just Ask Us:

Much of what may pass for Christmas gifts — and what you no longer need — can be recycled in Madison.

Q: I have a pile of gift boxes, wrapping paper, old clothes and gadgets. Now what?

A: With the end of Christmas comes, for many, a pile of boxes, wrapping paper, bows and new things.

In Madison, much of that pile — whether it’s old clothes or electronics — can be recycled.

But that doesn’t mean you can throw everything in a green Madison recycling cart.

Most wrapping paper and cardboard boxes can be recycled in Madison, according to the city. However, foil, ribbons, straps and bows can’t be recycled.

Wrapping paper and cardboard can be thrown in a regular recycling cart.

If boxes don’t fit, the city said to break them down into squares no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, bundle them together and place them next to your recycling cart.

For those with old clothes, you should bring those to a thrift store. The city said clothes can’t be recycled because they jam recycling equipment.

If you got a new smartphone or TV, don’t throw it in with your regular recycling or trash. The city also said many other electronics can’t be thrown into refuse to be dumped in a landfill or put in recycling carts.

Batteries, TVs, smartphones and other electronics must be left at one of Madison’s Streets Division’s two drop-off sites to be recycled. It costs $15 to recycle a TV.

The drop-off sites are at 1501 W. Badger Road and 4602 Sycamore Ave. They’re open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information on recycling electronics: Go to dnr.wi.gov/topic/Ecycle/ or go.madison.com/electronic-recycling.

For more information: Go to go.madison.com/holiday-recycling.

— Chris Aadland

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Send questions to: justaskus@madison.com; Just Ask Us, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI 53708.

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