The holiday season means many things, family gatherings, holiday lights and giving gifts, which of course means LOTS of gift wrapping.

Whether it's Christmas morning and you have bags upon bags of crumpled, discarded gift wrap or the trash bin in Santa's workshop is overflowing with scraps, the holidays can leave behind a lot of waste.

Can I burn wrapping paper in my fireplace?

If you can't salvage those scraps, it might leave you with a ton left over garbage and you might be tempted to burn it, but DON'T. Burning colored wrapping can not only be dangerous, but burning it in many states, including Massachusetts is illegal.

Can I burn wrapping paper outside?

If you're thinking of tossing that discarded gift wrap into the fire place roaring in your living room, think again. According to Chimney Sweeper, the inks used in wrapping paper (and other printed paper like newspaper ad inserts, glossy magazines, and even pizza boxes) give off toxic fumes when burned. Not only can the toxic fumes be dangerous for your loved ones, the wrapping paper burns very quickly and can easily float up the chimney of an indoor fireplace. This can be dangerous since flames that enter the chimney can ignite a fire in the flue.

So what about burning your wrapping paper outside? Well that's a no go as well. According to, the burning of any household trash is illegal, which yes, includes gift wrap. In some states like California burning wrapping paper can lead to a $100 fine.

What can I do with old, used wrapping paper?

Many safety and environmental officials warn again using colorful, chemical ink printed paper all together. It's almost never recyclable and causes a ton of waste. They ask folks to reuse wrapping paper as much as possible or encourage them to look for recyclable gift wrap this time of year.


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