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Recycling Christmas waste

An extra 25% of waste is created during the festive period, and despite much of it being recyclable, some of it is perhaps surprisingly not. To help you know what you should and shouldn't be putting in your blue recycling bin this festive period, check out this helpful list of Christmas essentials:

DO put in your blue bin

  • Glass bottles and jars: make sure they're clean and there's no liquid left in them
  • Plastic bottles, tubs, and containers: empty all liquids, and remember to wash and squash
  • Aluminium cans and containers: give them a rinse, and squash if possible to save space in your bin
  • Paper and cardboard, including packaging: take any polystyrene out first, and make sure it's dry. All paper goes in the paper caddy in your bin. You can recycle Christmas cards and paper decorations, providing they contain no foil, glitter, or aren't contaminated with too much sticky tape.

DO NOT put in your blue bin

  • Batteries: can be damaged during processing and cause fires. Visit our battery recycling page for recycling locations
  • Food waste: all food waste must go in your household waste bin, unless you use a compost bin
  • Dirty or greasy food containers: can't be recycled and must be placed in your household waste
  • Wrapping paper: the use of foiling and glitter, as well as often being covered in sticky tape, means it can't be recycled
  • Anything covered in glitter: While frequently made of plastic, glitter can't be recycled - place all items in your household waste
  • Baubles, tinsel and other decorations: Anything other than paper or cardboard decorations can't be recycled.

DO put in your garden waste

  • Christmas tree: You can recycle your Christmas tree at either of our household waste and recycling centres. 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
  • Wreaths: if made from organic materials, like ivy, holly, or fir tree clippings, then these can be placed in your garden waste.

For a full list of everything that can be recycled and how to do it, as well as a list of everything that can't be recycled, check out our A-Z of recycling.