A considerable amount of waste is typically generated during the holiday season, use some or all of the tips below to reduce the amount of waste produced in your household over the holidays.

Ho Ho Ho-ld the Waste Holiday Waste Reduction Contest

Show us how you and your family reduce waste during the holiday season for a chance to win 1 of 3 great local prize packs!

Want to win?

  • Like and follow Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Services on Facebook
  • Post a photo or video to Facebook showcasing your holiday waste reduction efforts based on the weekly theme
  • Make sure you set that post to public and include the hashtag #HoHoHoldtheWasteTBay so we can see it

The contest runs from December 13 - January 3, 2024. Weekly winners announced each Wednesday during contest period.


Week #1 - December 13-19 - Low Waste Giving

This year, try to give sustainable gifts that leave a minimal environmental footprint: think thrifted, reusable and organic gifts, consumable/edible items or experiences, as well as gifts in eco-friendly packaging.


Week #2 - December 20-26 - No Waste Entertaining

Show us how you're making your holiday parties eco-friendly! Share how you are using sustainable tableware instead of disposable, creating zero-waste meals or decorating your home from recycled materials.


Week #3 - December 27-January 3 - Conscious Clean Up

After the holiday, we are focused on responsible disposal and repurposing. Are you properly sorting your recyclables? Have you composted your tree? Did you get a gift you don’t like? Instead of throwing it out, consider donating it. Show us how you are starting the new year off on a clean slate.


Each Wednesday during the contest period, the new week's theme will begin and the winner of the previous week's contest will be drawn.

Rules and Eligibility


  • Open to all residents of the city of Thunder Bay.
  • Must be 18 years or older or have guardian's permission to enter.
  • No purchase necessary to enter or win.

Contest Period

  • The contest runs from December 13, 2023, to January 3, 2024.
  • Each themed week is a separate entry period:
    • Week 1: Low Waste Giving (Dec 13-19)
    • Week 2: No Waste Entertaining (Dec 20-26)
    • Week 3: Conscious Clean Up (Dec 27-Jan 3)

How to Enter

In order to win:

  • Participants must 'Like' and 'Follow' Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Services on Facebook.
  • Participants must post a photo or video on their Facebook page showcasing their waste reduction efforts based on the weekly theme.
    • The post must be set to 'public' so we can see it
  • Posts must include the hashtag #HoHoHoHoldTheWaste.
  • Entries must be posted within the respective week’s timeframe to be considered for that week’s prize.

Selection of Winners

  • Winners will be selected based on creativity, originality, and adherence to the theme.
  • One winner per week will be chosen by a panel of judges from the City of Thunder Bay.
  • Winners will be announced every Wednesday following the end of each contest week.


  • Each winner will receive a prize pack containing a variety of local goods and/or gift certificates.
  • Prizes are non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash.

Claiming Prizes

  • Winners will be contacted via Facebook and must respond within 3 business days to claim their prize.
  • Prizes must be claimed in person.

General Conditions

  • By participating, entrants agree to the rules and decisions of the organizers.
  • The City of Thunder Bay/Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Services reserves the right to disqualify any entrant who violates the rules or engages in any conduct detrimental to the contest or any other entrant, in its sole discretion.

Scam Awareness

  • Please be vigilant against fraud. At no point will you be asked to pay any fees or provide credit card information to enter the contest or claim your prize.
  • All official communication will come directly from the Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Services Facebook profile.
  • If you receive suspicious messages, please report them to us immediately.

Permission to Use Entries

  • By entering the contest, participants grant the City of Thunder Bay/Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Services permission to use their posts, photos, or videos for promotional purposes.

Release and Limitations of Liability

  • By participating, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the City of Thunder Bay/Thunder Bay Solid Waste & Recycling Services from any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the contest.


  • Personal information collected from participants will only be used for the purpose of administering the contest and awarding prizes.

Christmas tree chipping program

Each year, the City of Thunder Bay offers a Christmas tree chipping program after Boxing Day until Jan. 12.

Fresh-cut Christmas trees can be dropped off at several locations across the city to be chipped and added to the compost pile at the City's landfill. In the spring, when the compost is mature, it is provided to residents free of charge to enrich flower gardens and lawns. 

Christmas Tree Drop Locations
  • Brent Park (Balsam Street at Margaret Street)
  • County Park Tennis Courts (County Boulevard)
  • Grandview Arena (Madeline Street between Grandview Arena and Westminster United Church (not in arena parking lot)
  • John Jumbo Recreation Centre (Toivo Street)
  • Strathcona Golf Course
  • Delaney Arena (Legion Track Drive)
  • Kinsmen Northwood Centre (609 James St N)
  • Westfort Playing Field (off Neebing Avenue)
  • West Thunder Community Centre (915 S Edward St)

Residents should remove all ornaments and plastic tree wrap before dropping off trees at the collection site. Do not put trees out for curbside garbage/recycling collection.

Christmas Tree illustration

Choosing the right tree

When preparing for the holiday season, you need to weigh the options of choosing a real or artificial Christmas tree.

Fresh Cut


  • Let’s face it - the FRAGRANCE!
  • Purchasing local trees supports local tree farmers
  • Natural trees can be recycled in the Christmas Tree Chipping Program
  • Did you know you can harvest one tree for free on Crown Land (contact the MNR for info)



  • A real tree only lasts one season
  • Natural trees need water as they are flammable if allowed to dry out


  • Can be reused season after season
  • Come in a variety of colours and styles
  • Don’t need watering like fresh-cut trees



  • No natural fragrance
  • Can be pricier than fresh-cut trees
  • Artificial trees have a higher carbon footprint than locally grown fresh-cut trees – but an artificial tree can be a responsible option if you use it for many years before it hits the landfill.

Eco-friendly gift wrap

During the holiday season, the average Canadian family sends 25-45% more waste to the landfill. Much of this waste is gift wrap and wrapping supplies. Glittery, coloured, and metallic wrapping paper is not recyclable. It is heavily saturated with dye and contains little fibre for recycling.

Residents are encouraged to wrap gifts using recyclable materials such as newspaper, old maps or brown kraft paper, or to use fabric bags, reusable gift bags, tea towels or scarves that can be used year after year.

Holiday recycling tips

Graphic of gift and text: Tips for Reducing Waste This Holiday Season

Use Alternatives to Traditional Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper is not recyclable due to high ink content. Instead use kraft paper, newspaper, old sheet music or cloth to wrap your gifts.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Bring your natural Christmas tree to one of the many Christmas tree collection sites, where it will be chipped and then added to the compost pile at the City's landfill site.

Use Reusable Items When Entertaining

Rather than disposable items, use reusable dishes, glassware, silverware and napkins.

Reduce Your Food Waste

Meal plan to avoid overbuying during the festive season and freeze leftover cooked meats and vegetables to use another day.

Send Your Holiday Cards Electronically

If you would rather send a paper card, use cards with less ink content rather than cards that are laminated, foil-stamped or that have metallic ink.

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