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How to correctly recycle your Christmas waste

04 December 2017

The excessive build-up of Christmas cards, decorations, trees, and wrapping paper can seem overwhelming to dispose of during the festive season, but are we doing it correctly? Research from the London Cleaning System suggests that during the Christmas season the UK creates 30 percent more waste when compared to the rest of the year, including six million Christmas trees, two million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and 17.2 million Brussel sprouts. 

Christmas cards

300,000 tonnes of card packaging is used in the Christmas season, enough to cover London’s famous landmark, Big Ben, almost 260,000 times, with 1 billion cards ending up in waste disposal when they could have been recycled! Most cards are paper-based and can therefore be recycled along with their their envelopes. However, any embellishments such as ribbons or glitter are not recyclable, so make to remove these before placing them in your household recycling bin. 

Christmas wrapping paper 

The amount of wrapping paper used for Christmas presents every year is enough to wrap the equator 9 times; 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each December. Before putting wrapping paper into your recycling bin you must check the material is recyclable, do the scrunch test by scrunching the paper and if it doesn’t spring back it can be recycled. Some local authorities do not accept wrapping paper so make sure you check with them first before doing anything! 

Christmas trees

With 6 million ‘real’ Christmas trees being discarded every year into landfill the UK are wasting 250 tonnes of trees that could be shredded into chippings and then used for compost in local parks and woodland areas. You can arrange with your local authorities for your Christmas tree to be picked up and taken to a local recycling centre such as W+S in early January 2018. If you are disposing of an artificial Christmas tree that’s made from a combination of materials, unfortunately, it cannot be recycled. However, if your tree is in good condition why not donate to a local charity shop or our Renaissance shop where they can be sold and reused.

We are an experienced team of recycling specialists based in Dorset and Oxfordshire, with expertise in all areas of recycling and waste disposal ranging from cardboard recycling and End of Life Vehicle Collection, to trade waste disposal and metal recycling. For more information about our recycling services, or for further advice on how you can make a difference at home, contact our team on 01202 675564 today.


Branch Finder

Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.

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