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Recycling Christmas waste

Christmas trees

You can recycle your Christmas tree at:

  • Campground Household Waste and Recycling Centre, Wrekenton
  • Cowen Road Household Waste and Recycling Centre, Blaydon

For more information visit our household waste and recycling centres page.

If you have signed up for garden waste collections, you can chop up your tree and put it into your garden waste bin for collection when the service begins again in April.

Christmas tree lights

Currently, Christmas tree lights cannot be easily recycled so please do not put them in your recycling bin - put them straight into your household waste bin. 


If you have a wreath made from natural materials like ivy, holly or fir tree clippings, you can compost the greenery once you have removed it from its base (as long as there is no glitter) or place the greenery in your garden waste bin. The base can then be put into your household bin. 

Paper chains

If you have made your own paper chains from plain paper and there is no glitter on them, please recycle them by using the inner caddy in your blue recycling bin. 

If the paper chains have been bought from a shop, these are generally not suitable for recycling as they are often dyed in vivid colours and the paper has very short fibres. The best option is to either compost them or put them in your household waste bin. 


Glass baubles are not recyclable - if any of your glass baubles break, please wrap them carefully and dispose of in your household waste bin. 

Plastic baubles are usually made from types of plastic which are not widely collected yet in the UK. Many are also covered with glitter which contaminates other recycling materials. You could donate to a local charity or dispose of through your household bin. 


Tinsel is not recyclable, so if it has finally lost its sparkle please dispose of it in your household bin. 

Bows and ribbons

Please do not recycle bows and ribbons - either reuse them or dispose of them in your household bin. 


Other Christmas items 

Plastic carrier bags/black sacks

Plastic carrier bags cannot be recycled and should not be placed in your blue recycling bin. In particular, do not use plastic bags to separate your recycling materials. Plastic carrier bags should only be by put in your household bin. 

Christmas cards

Plain Christmas cards can be recycled in the main part of your blue recycling bin, but any card which has glitter, glue, is over-printed in foil or a 3D image cannot be recycled. These will contaminate the waste and must be disposed of through your household bin. 

Cardboard packaging

Cardboard packaging can be squashed flat and recycled in the main part of your blue recycling bin. Polystyrene used for packaging cannot be recycled and must go in your household bin. 

Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper cannot be recycled because it is often laminated with plastic, foil or other non-paper materials. Much of it is also contaminated by sticky tape which is not recyclable and can disrupt the recycling process. Some wrapping paper is very thin and contains few good quality fibres so is not suitable for recycling. Either save and re-use or dispose of it in your household waste bin. 


Glitter is not recyclable. If you put glitter in your recycling bin - whether it's on a card, wrapping paper or a decoration - it will find its way into the recycling process and will end up contaminating the finished product and will be rejected by the paper company. Glitter in your recycling bin will contaminate the entire lorry load of recyclables. Anything containing glitter should therefore be put in your household waste bin. 

Gift tags

Cardboard tags can be recycled, but any tags which are foil or contain glitter should be put in your household waste bin. 

Metal or plastic sweet and biscuit tins/tubs

Big sweet tins or tubs make great storage containers, but if you have too many you can recycle them in the main part of your blue recycling bin. Please make sure that all wrappers and packaging are removed first. 

Food waste

All food waste must go in your household waste bin, unless you use a compost bin. No food of any kind should go in your blue recycling bin. 

Junk mail

Christmas will often see festive magazine and newspaper supplements dropping through your door. Use the inner caddy in your blue recycling bin or take them to our household waste and recycling centres, or bring banks, for recycling.

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