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Smart Christmas recycling

After the presents are unwrapped and the turkey is eaten, we all have extra packaging and rubbish to get rid of - here’s how!

Typically, we generate over 25% more waste over Christmas, and most of us try to recycle as much as possible. However, if the wrong items go in, the “good stuff” can be contaminated, reducing the total that can be successfully recycled.

Recycling tree

Apart from the loss to the environment, that also costs taxpayers’ money, leaving less to spend on the vital services we all rely on. To help you to help us, here are five top tips for getting it right:

Disposing of disposables

Dirty paper towels, cups, plates and napkins aren’t recyclable - just dispose of them as normal rubbish.

Food waste is rubbish

Turkey carcasses and other leftovers can wrongly end up in the recycling. Any food waste causes major problems, so please put it all in your normal rubbish.

Bin the wrapping paper

With so many different types and materials, it’s best to throw it all out with the rubbish. As an alternative, why not try plain paper or re-usable gift bags?

Cheers for cardboard

Cardboard boxes are perfect for the recycling, but please keep them clean and dry. It also helps to break them up to make more space.

Common-sense cleaning

Containers like plastic bottles and tins need to be completely empty, but you don’t have to wash them 100% clean. A good rinse will be fine.


If you’re not sure if something can be recycled, please put it in your normal rubbish rather than risk contaminating the good stuff. To find out more about recycling, including where to find your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre, visit

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