I often tell my travel clients not to use their personal bank debit card to purchase travel or use when actually traveling.
The upward trend in giving gift cards as opposed to money or checks (and the increasing numbers of debit, credit and store cards) means that more than 75 million pounds of cards end up in landfills every year. Cards are made from PVC and are not readily recyclable with household collections.
But there are still ways to recycle the holiday cards once the money is spent! You can mail them to Earthworks System (http://www.earthworkssystem.com/consumers.html). They will melt the cards down into sheets that can then be used to make more cards.
Another useful tip from Earth911 !