If you’ve ever had a turkey sandwich on Boxing Day, you’ve already done some Christmas recycling of sorts, but with so many materials and so much extra Christmas waste, what else can be saved, reused or recycled over the festive season?
Recycling Christmas food
Turkey sandwiches are just one example of recycling Christmas food, and there are plenty more, such as bubble and squeak to use up leftover roast vegetables, and buffets to use all sorts of spare ingredients.
If you have a compost heap, don’t forget about it just because it’s winter, as it’s likely you’ll have a bumper amount of vegetable peelings, tea bags and other suitable food waste to add to it over Christmas.
Recycling wrapping paper
Remember to plan ahead if you want to recycle Christmas wrapping paper – and only buy normal matt-finish paper that can be scrunched up into a ball.
Wrapping paper with metallic print, holographic film and metallic foil cannot be put in with your household paper recycling, so steer clear of this and you’ll save space in your general waste during Christmas collections too.
Recycling Christmas decorations
Most mass-market Christmas decorations cannot be recycled easily, including glass baubles, most plastic baubles and tinsel; however, Christmas lights usually can be recycled and your local council may collect them for this.
Natural materials in Christmas decorations, such as holly leaves, ivy, real mistletoe and so on, can be recycled as garden waste if they are ‘clean’, but should not be put in your recycling if they have been sprayed with glitter or other decorative contaminants.
Recycling spent batteries
If you have a lot of battery-powered Christmas lights and ornaments, or the kids get a lot of toys from Santa, you’ll probably have a bucket full of dead batteries by New Year’s.
Recycling spent batteries is now quite easy – most larger stores and supermarkets have a container by the tills or by the door, and you can just dump your duds in there to be taken away and recycled.
Recycling Christmas cards
Again, you’ll often see ‘post boxes’ for recycling Christmas cards in your local supermarket, but as long as they’re clean paper or card, you can put them in your household recycling.
That means no glitter, ribbons and bows, so tear those parts off – and if you prefer to keep cards as a memento, consider scrapbooking the image and/or the verse and just recycling the parts you don’t want or need to keep.
Recycling Christmas trees
This is the big one. Recycling Christmas trees has thankfully become much easier in recent years and local councils can use them as chippings on public woodlands and flowerbeds.
Look out for Christmas tree recycling events near you early in the new year. Remember once again to remove contaminants like tinsel and artificial stands, and if you have a completely artificial tree, either pack it away for next year or if it’s in usable condition but you no longer want it, donate it to a charity shop or other local worthy cause.