The Facilities Services Specialists

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How to Recycle At Christmas

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With the Christmas period being the season of excess, there is always plenty of waste leftover and the majority of it can be recycled and used again. If you are unsure what you can recycle and what you cannot, continue to read this blog for recycling tips for over Christmas time.

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are the most commonly recycled items over the festive period and can be put into your paper recycling. However, you must remember to remove any glitter or foil as this cannot be recycled and turned into useful paper. If the cards have a significant amount of glitter or foil you should put these in your landfill bin. This is also the case for items such as Christmas crackers.

Wrapping Paper

Some councils accept wrapping paper to be recycled, others ask for it to be taken to your household waste recycling centre. Some councils will not accept wrapping paper at all due to the dyed paper, glitter and plastic. Some wrapping paper can be very thin and this will not make for useful recycling. Another issue is sticky tape! Lots of wrapping paper will be covered in sticky tape which can’t be recycled. So, remember if your council does accept the recycling of wrapping paper to remove any ribbons or bows or any other components that are made of synthetic material.

Christmas Trees

If you have a real tree, this should be cut up into smaller pieces and put into a garden waste bin. It can be recycled and turned into wood chippings for parks. If you do not have the correct equipment to cut up your tree you can contact your local council who can give you more information on how to recycle it. Some boroughs offer a collection service for your tree or organised drop off points.


With regular festive parties and dinners, there is a lot of food waste over the Christmas period. From leftover turkey to vegetable peelings, all of it can be put into a food waste bin. Please remember to remove any foil or packaging. Many people use paper plates and cups to reduce the time spent washing up, these can be put in usual paper waste, however please make sure they are as clean as possible before recycling.


Many online companies offer gadget recycling services and more recently supermarkets usually have collection bins for unwanted small electronics to recycle, which is great for unwanted fairy lights. This is also the case for unwanted batteries, shops selling more than 32kg of batteries a year are required to provide battery recycling facilities in store.


Christmas decorations fall into different categories due to different materials. Tree lights are suitable for recycling however, baubles made out of glass and tinsel cannot be recycled, therefore should be put in to your general waste bin. Any unwanted decorations that cannot be recycled due to excess glitter or metallic coating can be taken to a charity shop for reuse.

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