City of San Diego officials urged residents Tuesday to redouble their recycling efforts over the holidays.
Each household typically generates three to 10 extra bags of trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and much of the contents could be recycled, according to the city.
"The (Miramar) Landfill is a finite resource and has a limited number of years of useable life left to bury trash," said Chris Gonaver, head of the city's Environmental Services Department. "Although San Diego's waste diversion rate is at 65 percent, we must do a better job recycling because more than two-thirds of material buried in the landfill is recyclable."
Costs for transporting and disposing San Diego's waste will climb as the Miramar Landfill and others around the county reach capacity, Gonaver said.
Among the items that can be recycled are cardboard boxes, non-metallic wrapping paper, ribbon made from paper, rigid plastics, plastic bottles, glass bottles, aluminum containers, aluminum foil and empty aerosol cans.
According to the Environmental Services Department, Americans will dispose of 38,000 miles of ribbon this year, enough to tie a bow around the earth.
City officials suggested reusing items such as using wrapping paper, gift bags and ribbon; making gift tags from old wrapping paper; and making your own wrapping paper by decorating other forms of paper, such as bags or blueprint paper.
Packing materials, such as foam "peanuts," can be dropped off at private mail centers for reuse. To find the nearest one, call the Plastic Loosefill Council Peanuts Hotline at (800) 828-2214.