People are being urged to make the most of changes to waste collections which could help Lancashire to recycle more than ever this Christmas.
From October 2019 residents of Lancashire and Blackpool have been able to put clean plastic pots, tubs and trays in their recycling bins, along with the plastic bottles for liquids which were already being collected.
It means that many more items, including the large plastic tubs containing assorted sweets which are popular at Christmas, can now be recycled.
Yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, and meat, fruit and vegetable trays of any shape or colour can also now be recycled at the doorstep. An easy way to check if a plastic item can be recycled is to look for a 1, 2 or 5 recycling triangle on the item.
Anyone who is having a Christmas clean-up around their home is also being asked to think before throwing anything away and ensure good quality items have the chance to be reused by taking them to a charity shop or handing them to a member of staff at their local recycling centre.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Lancashire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for waste management, said: “I’d ask everyone to help reduce the amount of waste we generate this Christmas, and to take that little bit of time needed to make sure they put everything that can be recycled in the right bin.
“Now that we’re processing more types of plastic we don’t want to miss the opportunity to ensure as many items as possible are recycled. Recyclable materials are easier to process when they’re clean so I’d also ask people to give food containers a quick rinse.
“I’d also ask people to make the extra effort to save any good quality items which could be reused. There’s a good market for second-hand items and it’s better for people and the environment if we retain the value of products and materials by reusing them rather than throwing them away.”
You can find full details of which items to put in which bin at www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste.
Here are some handy tips to help you keep on recycling as you enjoy the festivities, and to prevent more waste from going to landfill. Give your bin the gift of recyclable items this Christmas.
• Plastic sweet tubs – most plastic sweet tubs are made from plastic type 5. This type of plastic can now be recycled at home, alongside plastic bottles and other clean pots, tubs and trays. Remove all the sweet wrappers, and the tubs and lid can be added to your recycling bin, together with your other plastic items with a 1, 2 or 5 recycling triangle.
• Mince pie boxes and foil cases – once you’ve finished munching on mince pies, the clean aluminium foil trays, cardboard box and plastic tray can be recycled. If needed, give the foil trays a quick rinse or wipe, scrunch them together and add all these items to the right bin, box or bag.
• Wrapping paper – can be recycled if it passes the scrunch test – if you can scrunch it and it stays in a ball without springing back, it can be recycled. If it doesn’t stay in a ball it can’t be recycled. Some metallic-looking paper is actually lined with plastic and cannot be recycled.
• Glitter – cannot be recycled – make sure glittery paper goes in the general rubbish bin – or you could avoid buying it in the first place to be kinder to the environment.
• Christmas cards – plain Christmas cards and envelopes can be recycled in your recycling bin. Any extras such as ribbons, glitter or bows cannot be recycled and need to be removed first.
• Cardboard boxes – it’s likely your online orders will be delivered in boxes or envelopes made from corrugated cardboard. This can be recycled – just remember to flatten boxes before recycling and remove as much sticky tape as possible.
• Leftover food – Use leftovers from Christmas lunch to make interesting dishes – visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for more information and ideas.
• Christmas tree lights – if your old lights stop working, if they have a plug or use batteries, do not put them in your waste bin. They need to be disposed of at your local household waste recycling centre.
• Unwanted gifts – Donate those unwanted gifts like that Christmas jumper to your local charity shop. It could be just the thing that someone else is looking for.
Find out when your local recycling centre is open at www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste.
Please note: Lancashire County Council recycling centres are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.