County Council encourages residents to have a Green Christmas

Published Thursday, 17th December 2015

The festive period is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for rubbish and recycling. Whether it’s cards, wrapping paper, cardboard, trees or simply leftovers from the Christmas meal, we all produce a lot more waste.

But while Worcestershire may not get a white Christmas, residents can certainly make it a green one. To try and reduce the extra waste generated by the festive period, the County Council is sharing useful tips:

·         When shopping, avoid goods which involve unnecessary packaging or materials that cannot be recycled.

·         Consider the wrapping paper used on presents. You can recycle the conventional paper types in your kerbside recycling collection, but not the foil types.

·         Buy recycled Christmas cards or try sending an e-card.

·         Visit your local reuse organisation for some great gift ideas.

·         Make your own presents, and get the whole family involved. Jams and chutneys, cakes and cookies are all firm favourites at Christmas.

·         If you’re not sure what to buy, why not give money, a gift voucher or activity voucher?

·         Use re-chargeable batteries rather than disposables and buy a battery charger

·         Don’t over-stock with food. The average household throws out nearly £700 worth of unwanted food throughout the year*. Planning carefully will save you pounds all round.

Here are some ways of recycling the waste we do produce over Christmas.

·         Make space for new clothes by taking your unwanted clothes to a recycling centre or charity shop.

·         A compost bin will take uncooked fruit and vegetable waste while a food waste disposer will take all food waste, including meat, bones, fish and dairy.

·         You can recycle your old Christmas tree at your nearest Household Recycling Centre (HRC) and it will be taken away and turned into soil conditioner.

·         Cardboard packaging from presents can be recycled in your kerbside recycling collection or at your nearest HRC.

To find your nearest HRC or to find out more about waste prevention, recycling, and reusing, and share ideas with other residents, log onto or call 01905 766883.

Councillor Anthony Blagg, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Waste and the Environment said: “We all know Christmas is an expensive time but it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Buying items made from reusable materials and recycling those we do not need helps minimise the amount we end up putting into landfill sites."

According to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), the amount of wrapping paper estimated to be thrown away in the UK at Christmas could stretch around the equator nine times, or the moon if the sheets were laid end to end. We need to look for gifts with packaging that can be reused; gift bags, for example, can be used again and again.

Cllr Blagg added: “I expect we will see another busy Christmas period for all our waste and recycling services – and I hope in 2016 we can reduce still further the amount we send to landfill.”