Christmas waste and recycling

Don't have a rubbish Christmas - recycle!

As the festive season approaches, we are urging residents to recycle more and try to waste less.

There is no limit to how much you can recycle. Any extra recycling can be put in cardboard boxes or clear sacks. Leave the cardboard box or clear sacks filled with recycling and large, flattened cardboard boxes next to your recycling bin. Please remove all polystyrene and plastic packaging.

For the first collection after Christmas Day we will take side waste so please leave this next to your bin.

Reduce your consumption

As well as reducing waste, reducing consumption can also help tackle the Climate Emergency. Everything we buy has a carbon footprint due to things like manufacturing and shipping, so buying less food and goods will save us money and carbon, as well as help us to reduce waste.

For further information, and other actions you can take to tackle climate change throughout the year, take a look at our climate change toolkits.

Hints and tips for a more sustainable Christmas

Christmas Waste Infographic

Christmas wrapping paper and cards

Wrapping paper can't be recycled, try wrapping presents with brown paper instead, it’s recyclable and looks great when decorated. Christmas cards can be recycled but only if they don't contain glitter, ribbons or bows.

Christmas trees

Cut down on plastic by getting a potted tree to use year after year.

If you’re thinking of getting a real tree, you can recycle it at one of our drop off points across the borough between Monday 3 January to Sunday 30 January 2022.

If you have signed up to the Garden Waste service you will be able to put your real Christmas trees out for collection with your fortnightly garden waste. Christmas trees over 6ft need to be cut in half and decorations must be removed from all trees.


Love food hate waste

We all do it – buy lots of food, spend lots of money and with the best intention - throw away far more of it than we would like to, only to weigh ourselves in January and wish we hadn’t bought or eaten so much.

If you are entertaining or are the host for Christmas Day be realistic about how much you need. Waitrose provide online calculators so you can work out how much food and drink you need to buy. Open packets as you go rather than all at the start to avoid waste.

Love your Freezer! Get freezer savvy and have your containers at the ready to freeze food that can be. Visit the Love Food website for lots of advice on freezing food.

Food bank

Have you have bought too much? Perhaps you’re at the checkout thinking ‘do I really need all this?’ Most supermarkets have a basket where you can donate items to the local food bank. If you are a careful planner and can afford to donate popular Christmas items include:

  • advent calendars
  • Christmas crackers
  • chocolate coins
  • tinned fruit and veg
  • dried foods such as pasta and rice.


Foodie Gift

Give fun not gifts - don’t spend hours trawling the shops buying things for people that you’re not sure they will even like. For an unforgettable gift, go for an experience – like gig or cinema tickets, a meal out, or spa day.

Add value - give someone the gift that keeps on giving. Memberships and courses give people the chance to develop a skill as well as indulging in a hobby or passion. If you're money is tight, why not give vouchers for your time - a days work in the garden could be far more popular than something you can buy.

Buy preloved - charity shops can be great for gifts such as books, toys and puzzles – fantastic for your pocket and the charity.

Cut down on plastic

By making the right choices we can dramatically reduce the amount of plastic we waste this Christmas. Opt for beautiful paper chains and pine cones decorated with biodegradable glitter rather than tinsel.

Plastic free crackers - these novelties will be made from card which can be recycled and contain FSC certified wooden gifts or other non plastic treats.

Paper Plates

Natural Decorations

Portion planner

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    8.30am to 4.30pm
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