13/12/2013 - Permalink

Top tips for recycling your Christmas waste and leftovers

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Over the Christmas and New Year period an estimated three million tonnes of waste will be produced across the UK.

Here are some top tips from Shropshire Council’s waste management team to help you reduce the amount of waste you produce over the festive season, and turn Christmas into a recycling opportunity.

In the UK just over the month of December we’ll buy some 10 million turkeys, take home around 370 million mince pies and 25 million Christmas puddings during the festive period.  On average most people will end up binning about one quarter of this.

Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for ideas on how to avoid food waste and save yourself some money on your Christmas shopping bill.

Christmas wrapping paper
Each year the UK uses 80 square kilometers of wrapping paper at Christmas.  Most types of wrapping paper can be included with your paper recycling collection.  The only type they don’t accept at the paper mill is the ‘plasticy’ types.  A top tip to check if paper is recyclable is to try the ‘tear test’ – if you cannot tear it it is probably laminated/plasticised and cannot be recycled.

Christmas cards
Shropshire residents will receive around 10 million greetings cards this Christmas.  A great idea to reduce waste is to cut up Christmas cards into gift tags for next year and remember you can recycle any cards which can’t be reused with your paper recycling collection service.

Christmas trees
After Christmas you can put real/natural trees out for collection in – or next to – your garden waste collection bin. They will be collected by the garden waste collection service and sent for composting.

Cans, tins and foil
It’s especially important to recycle metal because it saves so much energy.  Recycling a single aluminium can saves enough energy to run your TV for three hours.  But remember it’s not just cans – you can recycle the tin foil from around your turkey and the metal foil mince pie cases and aluminium foil from chocolate, the large sweet tins often given as Christmas gifts, along with your aerosols, clean food tins and aluminium packaging.  

Visit www.metalmatters.org.uk for more information.

Plastic pots, tubs and trays
Don’t forget this Christmas you can recycle all your plastic pots, tubs and trays from your food packaging.  Simply wash and squash and put them in with your plastic bottles for collection.

There are 25 dedicated cardboard recycling sites around the county.  Visit www.recycleforshropshire.com to find your nearest site.

Compost your left-overs
Think of all the peelings from your Christmas roast potatoes and sprouts, all the extra satsumas you will peel, the tea bags from all those extra cuppas served to guests… they can all go on the compost heap instead of ending up in the bin.  It’s really simple to compost at home – visit www.shropshire.getcomposting.com for special offers on home composting products.

You can recycle batteries at the local supermarkets and at the household recycling centres; however, it’s far better to avoid this in the first place by using rechargable batteries.

Fairy lights
Don’t bin them, recycle them! There are 25 sites in Shropshire where you can recycle small electrical items – something which is often thrown out after Christmas.  We can recycle anything electrical, if its got a battery or a plug you can recycle it.

So make a New Year’s resolution you can really stick to this year – recycle more and waste less!