How green is your Christmas?

Published Monday, 12th December 2016

The festive period is traditionally one of the busiest times of year for the district's waste collection teams.

Whether it's cards, wrapping paper, trees or simply leftover food, we all produce a lot more waste with the average family throwing out an extra five bags of waste over Christmas; meaning an additional 700,000 tonnes to the UK's waste stream.

With no guarantees of a white Christmas this year, residents can certainly make it a green one instead.

To try and reduce the extra waste generated, try the following tips:


  • Don't overstock with food. Plan your meals and your shopping to avoid the inevitable Christmas pitfalls. For meal planning advice go to
  • Doing your Christmas food shop online will allow you to control what you buy more easily.
  • Send e-cards instead of traditional ones. If you want to buy Christmas cards, make sure they are made from recycled card.
  • Avoid buying gifts that are excessively packaged or have packaging that can't be recycled.
  • Make your own presents; get the whole family involved making chutneys, jams, cakes and biscuits, which are a firm favourite at Christmas.


  • Make the most of your leftovers by using them in new meals. For recipes go to
  • Use last year's Christmas cards cut up as gift tags.
  • Use rechargeable batteries in toys and games.
  • Reuse large biscuit or sweet tins for storage.


  • Recycle all your wrapping paper (not the foil types), cards, packaging, glass, plastic bottles, cans and cartons in your kerbside recycling bin. Remember that large metal biscuit and sweet tins can also be recycled.
  • Recycle your Christmas tree at one of the county's Household Recycling Centres.
  • Buy a compost bin to recycle your organic kitchen waste and garden waste – even the holly wreath from your door can go in a compost bin, after you've removed the ribbons, baubles and metal frame.

Cllr Anthony Blagg, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment said: "Christmas is a time when households tend to consume more, resulting in higher quantities of waste having to be disposed of. We would urge residents to recycle as much as they can either through the Household Recycling Centres or their kerbside recycling service.  As Christmas falls on a weekend there may not be that much disruption to services, but residents are advised to check with their district council as to any changes. However, if we all reduced the amount we generated in the first place, this would save the County Council money in disposal costs, which in turn gives us an income to spend elsewhere within the county."

For further information on reducing waste please go to