Christmas waste and recycling

The festive season can be very busy; presents to choose and wrap, food to buy and cook, visits to family and friends to organise and at times like this it is easy to forget to reduce, reuse and recycle.

There is a lot you can do in advance to avoid waste and afterwards to recycle as much as possible, including Christmas trees, cards and wrapping paper.

In advance of the big day:

Opening presentsPurchase paper wrap rather than metallic or plastic based wrap as these materials cannot be recycled.

Why not think of alternative ways of wrapping your presents using gift bags or boxes, or fabric and use ribbon or string instead of sticky tape. Visit the Recycle Now pages for inspiration.
Have family fun making your own decorations, gift wrap or even thrifty gifts from recycled materials – see our creative reuse pages for “how to” instructions and video tutorials.

To avoid excess food waste, visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for ideas for using up leftovers, tips on food storage and preparing correct portion sizes.

Rather than spending money on unwanted gifts, why not give vouchers, “experience days” or membership of organisations to friends and family.

Send electronic e-cards or festive text messages.

Choose a natural Christmas tree that still has its roots which you can plant up in a pot to use next year.

After the dust has settled:

For a calendar of revised collection days caused by Bank Holidays visit our Bank Holiday page.

Christmas tree decorationsPlease take undecorated natural Christmas trees to a recycling centre for recycling.

If you pay for garden waste collections you can put natural undecorated trees under 6ft out for composting on your normal garden waste collection days.  Place next to your bin or sack. Garden waste collections will not take place between Monday 25 December 2017 – Friday 5 January 2018, resuming from Monday 8 January 2018 on usual days.

Christmas cards can be accepted with cardboard for recycling on kerbside collections or at recycling centres. For kerbside collections, it helps crews  if you keep greeting cards together inside a cardboard box.

Wrapping paper (not metallic nor plastic based wrap) can be put out with cardboard on kerbside collections or it can be taken to recycling centres and recycled with card. Please remove all decorations.

Keep Christmas cards and re-use them next year as gift tags.

Use your local recycling centre or site to recycle items such as old batteries, mobile ‘phones and large cardboard boxes.  For information on opening days and times visit our recycling centres section.

Buying in the January sales?  Don’t forget your local furniture reuse group. If you are changing your sofa or buying a new dining room table, why not pass on your old reusable furniture so it can be used by people on low incomes. Visit our furniture reuse page for more information on local reuse groups.

Your unwanted clothes and shoes can be recycled on the kerbside (don’t forget to bag textiles and shoes) or alternative support your local charity as you refresh your wardrobe or advertise items on Freecycle or on-line auction sites.

Don’t forget that glass jars can be recycled along with glass bottles in your kerbside box. Please be careful not to break the glass as your recycling box is hand sorted by the collection crews.

As well as recycling aluminium fizzy drink cans, you can use the kerbside collection service for (clean) aluminium foil from mince pies, foil food trays and baking foil.

To receive regular recycling updates and tips on reducing waste in Somerset sign up to our FREE e-newsletter from our home page.

Finally, all at Somerset Waste Partnership wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year.