By Allison Majerus

Wondering what to do with your tree, broken holiday lights, gift wrapping materials or unwanted gifts now that the holidays are over? Here’s a few tips we gathered for you!

Please, note, these options vary depending on where you live, be sure to check your local offerings.

Happy New Year!

Evergreen tree

Tree Disposal!


The Boy Scouts of America are also recycling trees in the Greater Omaha and Lincoln areas. Go to to reserve a pick up date or text 402-965-1458.

Cluster of holiday lights

Holiday lights are recyclable because of the small amount of copper within the wires, and Scrap Central (Omaha) is partnering with some Nebraska organizations to do holiday light drives.

Scouts BSA Troop 231 (Omaha Metro/Sarpy County)
Keep Nebraska City Beautiful
Keep North Platte and Lincoln County Beautiful

White and red wrapping paper and two red bows

Only gift wrapping paper that is unlaminated, paper-based is recyclable. If it is shiny, contains foil, glitter or metallic pieces, it cannot be recycled.

Bows, ribbon, tissue paper, gift bags packing peanuts and foam wrapping are not recyclable but great for reuse!

More information

Brown paper wrapped box with holly berries and twine as a bow

If you received a gift that you don’t like or doesn’t fit, consider regifting it in the future or selling it instead of returning it to the store.

Unfortunately, in some cases, items that are returned to stores do not end up on the shelves but other places instead.