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Minister urges households to recycle as much as possible over Christmas

Local Government Minister Marcus Jones encourages households to recycle.

Households across the country are being encouraged by the Minister for Local Government, Marcus Jones, to make it a record-breaking year for recycling over the Christmas period.

It’s estimated that the UK recycled a staggering 289,000 tonnes of card packaging last Christmas. However, with the weight of paper and card not collected equating to nearly 2,000 blue whales, there’s cause for everyone to double their recycling efforts this year.

From wrapping paper to Christmas cards, mince pie foil cases to Christmas trees, there’s a host of items that can be easily recycled or disposed of in a responsible, eco-friendly way.

Local authorities across the UK are offering helpful tips, guidance and even some dedicated treecycling services to help residents recycle as much as they can over the Christmas period:

  • Trafford Council has produced the ‘naughty or nice’ list of items that can and can’t be recycled.
  • Cambridgeshire County Council has issued 12 top recycling tips to help residents make it a great recycling Christmas!
  • The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham offer residents a dedicated Christmas tree collection service on certain days and multiple drop-off points located across the borough for residents who want to ‘treecycle.’ The council estimate that it will recycle over 75 tonnes of festive firs over the holiday season.
  • Swansea Council has released a downloadable 2018 recycling calendar so that residents can start the year as they mean to go on – recycling as much as possible.
  • Lancaster City Council has partnered with St. John’s Hospice to boost treecycling and raise money for charity; for a small donation, residents can pay to have their real Christmas trees collected from their doorsteps by hospice volunteers.

Minister for Local Government, Marcus Jones, said:

“Local authorities across the country are offering great initiatives to help us recycle as much as we can over the Christmas period – including the Christmas tree!

“I’m encouraging households to find out what schemes are running in their area so that they can maximise their recycling and treecycling this year!”

Here are DCLG’s top 5 recycling tips for the festive season this year:

Recycle that cardboard!

A lot of Christmas gifts will come in recyclable cardboard packing – especially large electronic items such as laptops, televisions and computer game consoles. It’s estimated that we could make a cardboard motorway stretching from Leeds to Lapland and back – 111 times – with all the card packaging we use at Christmas. Don’t let it go to landfill!

Scrunch test your wrapping paper!

Did you know, paper or cards with glitter can’t be recycled? The scrunch test is a helpful way to test whether your Christmas wrapping paper is recyclable.

If you literally scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can be put into the recycling. Remember to remove ribbons, bows and other adornments before sticking it in the recycling.

Don’t ‘firget’ to treecycle!

Millions of trees brighten up homes and offices across the UK each Christmas. These can be recycled for composting and wood chipping. The chippings can then be used locally in parks or woodland areas.

Some councils will collect Christmas trees with normal garden waste, some will have designated collections and others will have special drop-off points. Visit your local authority’s website for detailed guidance. Find out more about the Forestry Commission’s sustainable Christmas trees too.

Don’t bin the festive fairy lights!

Fairy lights and other electronic Christmas decorations may be classed as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). These items must not be sent to landfill but disposed of at designated sites such as household waste recycling centres. If in doubt, check with your local authority for guidance on disposing of those old fairy lights.

You can go ‘Cold Turkey’!

Who doesn’t love leftovers? Christmas dinner stays fresh for at least a few days after the big event and for months or more if you put it in the freezer.

You can freeze cooked turkey and use it to make a new meal; if you’re sick of turkey and cranberry sandwiches, why not be creative and try making a turkey curry? Additional tips and advice can be found on the Food Standards Agency’s website.

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