The holiday presents are unwrapped. So what do you do with all the shredded and wadded-up wrapping paper?

If you live in Boston, the answer is: Throw it away.

"You can recycle cardboard and gift bags, but not wrapping paper and bows," City Councior At Large Erin Murphy told GBH News Monday. "So now your option is to just put it in the trash — you are not supposed to recycle it."

Murphy said she and other councillors are trying to make sure people have the right information about the city's recycling and trash collection programs, particularly with new laws banning disposal of mattresses and clothing.

"If you have a fresh Christmas tree ... you can put it out into the trash in the first two weeks of January," she said. "But most people assume that you can just put all the wrapping and bows together with the recycle bin and put it right out in the trash, which is not correct."

Wrapping paper has long been nettlesome for recycling programs. While some very plain papers can be recycled, shiny or glittery papers cannot, and tossing them into a recycling bin may render the whole bin unusable.

But disposal rules vary by city.

Janet Domenitz, the executive director of the environmental group MASSPIRG, said "I think it's important just to check your city, your town's website. I know in Cambridge where I live, they will recycle wrapping paper."

But she also says that recycling should be your last option, noting that the mantra of environmental preservation is "reduce, reuse, recycle" — in that order.

"Rule number one is don't use wrapping paper," she said. "You can present your gifts with love and affection with old newspapers or magazines that are sitting around not being read, or old pillowcases. There's a lot of creative ways to do the first and most important thing, which is reduce."

If presents are wrapped, she said, unwrap them in such a way that the paper can be reused.

And Domenitz added that, while the holiday season traditionally generates vast amounts of packaging and wrapping and waste, it also provides "a moment to really see what giving is all about. And it's not about the trucks pulling up at the sidewalk and the over-wrapped packaging of plastic stuff that, you know, we use for a few months and then toss."

So next year, maybe make a gift by hand and deliver it in a reusable gift bag.