Isle of Wight Council

22 Dec 2022

12 days of Christmas recycling

Christmas is often a time for indulgence and swapping presents. But it also means we create more waste, a lot of which can be recycled or reused.  

We’re already a nation of recyclers but this year, let’s give the planet a gift by reusing or recycling as much as we can.
   
The Isle of Wight Council's waste and recycling team has put together so these ‘12 days of Christmas’ recycling tips and facts to help get a head start:  

1. Crush plastic recycling this Christmas. Drinks bottles, cleaning products, toiletry bottles can all be recycled. This includes those Christmas chocolate plastic tubs. Try making a snowman from yogurt plastic bottles with your kids. Simply make a paper hat, knit a simple scarf, paste on old buttons and dress your bottle. And of course, draw on a face!  

Tip: Don’t forget to empty, rinse, crush and also replace lids before recycling. Remove pump dispensers and trigger sprays first as these aren't recyclable.  

2. Get Christmas wrapped up! Any wrapping paper with glitter or ribbons can’t be recycled. Reuse old wrapping paper again or buy recycled wrapping paper. Old comics, magazines or calendars also make great wrapping paper. You can also use old wrapping paper to make old-school paper chain decorations.  

Tip: Try the scrunch test! Scrunch your wrapping paper into a ball. Stays scrunched? Recycle it. If not pop it in your waste bin.  

3. Cards — Send E-cards instead this year or choose recycled cards. Last year’s cards can be cut up to make festive postcards or gift tags. Or forget the gift tags all together and write straight onto the paper. Most cards are paper-based and can be recycled. Don’t forget to recycle the envelopes.   

Tip: Any extras such as ribbons, glitter or bows cannot be recycled. Remove or tear off that part of the card.  

4. Cardboard — Ordering goods online is more popular than ever. It also means more packaging. Boxes or envelopes made from corrugated cardboard are widely recycled by local authorities across the UK. Or take to your local household recycling centre.  

Tip: Remove plastic or polystyrene inserts and excess sticky tape from cardboard boxes. Flatten to save more space before recycling.  

5. Glass — Making glass items from recycled materials uses around 95 per cent less energy compared to using ‘virgin’ materials? All your glass can be recycled, whatever shape or size; bottles and jars. Give them a quick rinse and put the lid or cap back on before recycling.  

Tip: Glass such as pyrex, oven-proof glass and drinking glass are made to withstand higher temperatures. They can’t be recycled in the same way as bottles and jars. Take to your household recycling centre or wrap and pop in the waste bin. 
 
6. Polysterene and bubble wrap — Enjoy popping it but neither of these are recyclable. They must be placed in your black bin/black gull sack or taken to Lynnbottom or Afton Marsh Household Waste Recycling Centre and placed in the general rubbish skip. 

Tip: Buy local and support your community shops. Locally made items tend to have less packaging and less 'shopping' miles. 

7. Decorations — Deck the halls but remember glass baubles and tinsel are not recyclable. Broken glass baubles should be wrapped and popped in general waste. Anything covered in glitter affects the recycling process and also goes in general waste. If your tinsel has finally lost its sparkle, it can’t be recycled either so please dispose of it in the waste bin.  

Tip: Donate unwanted decorations in good condition to charity shops for re-sale and re-use.  

8. Wreaths — Recycle natural materials like ivy, fir cones, mistletoe and holly. As long as they are not covered with glitter, they can be composted. Remove the greenery from the base and add to your garden or green waste collection, compost or drop at your local household recycling centre.   

Tip: Remove any ribbons and plastic flowers as these cannot be recycled. 
 
9. Magical metal — Metal can be recycled again and again without losing quality. It becomes new metal products. This includes drinks cans, mince pie cases and tin foil. Don’t forget your bathroom. Once empty, hairspray cans, deodorant and shaving gel cans are recyclable.  

Tip: Don’t forget your mince pie cases and tinfoil. Rinse out food residue, scrunch up to save space and then recycle.  

10. Batteries — All those new toys and gadgets mean more batteries to recycle. Make sure you separate your used batteries from the rest of your waste and recycling. They are only collected on your general (black bin/gull sack) waste week. Used batteries must not be placed in with the rest of your waste.

They need to go in a separate clear small bag and placed clearly on top of your closed bin or sack. This is so the crew can see them and can place them safely away from the rest of the waste in the bespoke battery section on the trucks.  

Tip: Don’t put household batteries in waste – they can cause a fire on collection lorries or at the waste treatment site. 
 
11. Eat, drink, recycle — We generate a lot more food waste at Christmas so make sure it all goes in your kitchen caddy. Recycle turkey bones, veg peelings and any leftovers from your Christmas dinner (that can’t be safely eaten later!). Don't forget tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, peelings and cores from fruit, and stale bread.  

Tip: Visit Love Food Hate Waste’s website for top tips on reusing your leftovers.
  
12. Christmas trees — Artificial trees are reusable but they are not recyclable. Choose a 100 per cent recyclable real tree. Buy a potted one that will have an extended life rather than throwing away after the holiday. 

Tip: Remember to remove all tinsel and decorations and any pots or stands.  

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Boxes or envelopes made from corrugated cardboard can bey recycled
Boxes or envelopes made from corrugated cardboard can bey recycled
Factfile
  • Deck the halls but remember glass baubles and tinsel are not recyclable. Broken glass baubles should be wrapped and popped in general waste.
  • Any wrapping paper with glitter or ribbons can’t be recycled. Reuse old wrapping paper again or buy recycled wrapping paper.
 
Isle of Wight, UK