Rubbish and recycling|

Festive recycling tips

The festive season is just around the corner! Over the next month or so, it’ll be all about celebrations.

From this issue on, we will be sharing our top tips on how to waste less and recycle more in this jolly season, from preparation all the way to the end of festive celebrations.


  • Choose gifts with less or recyclable packaging such as cardboard. Wrapping paper or bags with shiny foil or glitter can’t be recycled.
  • Cardboard tubes in the centre of a roll of gift wrap can be recycled too.
  • Decorate your presents with reusable or natural decorations, such as reusable string, ribbon or a sprig of holly or mistletoe, instead of shiny metallic-style ribbons.

Shipping boxes and packaging

Your online shopping or festive feast deliveries often come in boxes, which can mostly be recycled. Here is what you should do when recycling these:

  • Cardboard: remove any plastic or polystyrene inserts and sticky tape on the packaging and then flatten them to create room in your recycling bags.
  • Glass bottles and jars (for example, for sauces): rinse them out and keep the lids on.
  • Foil trays (for example, for minced, pies, quiche or pudding): give them a quick clean first, then scrunch them up lightly into a ball.

Christmas cards

Have you thought of sending an e-card? It is as good as a physical card, but a lot more environmentally friendly.

If you do want to go for a physical one, try to choose some plain ones because cards with foil, glue or glitter can’t be recycled. If these cards are not going to be kept after Christmas, they may have to be disposed of as general rubbish.

Christmas tree and decorations

The rule of thumb is to re-use them as much as possible:

  • Take care when unboxing the packaging of your artificial Christmas tree, as you may want to use the box for storing the tree after Christmas
  • Use natural decorations such as ivy, fir cones, mistletoe and holly, which can be composted if they are not covered with glitter.
  • Re-use your baubles and tinsel year on year, because they can’t be recycled. If any of your glass baubles breaks, wrap it in newspaper or kitchen roll and bin it.
  • If your fairy lights are not working any more, take them to re3 household waste recycling centre in Reading or Bracknell, as they are classed as small electrical items. If you are buying new ones, pick those using LED bulbs which are more energy efficient.
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