YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As we are in the full swing of the holiday season, it’s important to remember what can and cannot be recycled.

The Mahoning County Solid Waste District, otherwise known as The Green Team, implements waste reduction strategies throughout the county. Along with curbside recycling pick-up, there are drop-off sites from Canfield (by the fairgrounds) to Milton Township.

Green Team Director Lou Vega said there are many reasons people should recycle.

“A reduction in the use of our landfills so we can increase their capacity and their longevity so that our future generations have a place to put their waste away as well,” Vega said.

It is important that people understand the items that can be recycled because one wrong item can slow down the process.

“When we are talking plastics – plastic bottles, jugs and jars. When we are talking about metals, we’re talking about aluminum cans. The things you are going to find at your grocery store are what we’re looking for,” Vega said.

Vega said items like metal or plastics mixed with metal can raise the cost of the recycling program.

“The cost of pulling out that contamination and disposing of that contamination, any increase in cost is always passed on to the customers and it increases the cost of the program,” Vega said.

With holiday gatherings beginning and people giving gifts, Wrapping paper and Christmas cards can be recycled as long they don’t have glitter or embellishments on them. Bows and ribbons should be left out of the recycling bins. Vega said there will be a lot of cardboard, too.

“Especially with online shopping. We just request that everybody breaks down the cardboard, please, so we can maximize capacity in the containers,” he said.

There can be some confusion on what can be recycled over the next few weeks. Vega said cardboard is a big one and should be broken down to maximum capacity in the bins.

If your local site is full, Vega encourages people to come back another day and not leave it outside of the bins.