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Post Christmas Recycling – The Festive Facts

Over the Christmas period, we take the time to be with our families, enjoy ourselves and generally let our hair down. We shouldn’t, however, let this be an excuse to lapse in our efforts to be more environmentally friendly. It is this time of the year that we produce a lot of waste and are all probably guilty of being too lazy to think about our carbon footprint. That’s why here at Woodford Recycling we have put together a list of astonishing Christmas recycling and waste facts and how you can do your bit to recycle but still enjoy the festive holidays.

Wrapping paper

You’ll be amazed to learn that we use so much wrapping paper at this time of the year that, if we laid it end to end, it would reach as far as the moon! It is such a simple material that we give little thought to, but we use 364,700km of the stuff each year – you could wrap up the equator nine times with that much paper – but who would you give it to!?

Most local authorities already supply a recycling service for paper and cardboard but it’s always helpful to get rid of as much sticky tape as possible as it helps the recycling process. Next year you could also try to buy paper which is made of recycled materials to further your positive impact on the cycle.

Christmas Trees

If you have an artificial tree then you’ll probably just pop it back in its box and store it in your loft or garage until next year. A real Christmas tree can be a little trickier and we throw away 250 tonnes of tree every year. They are not ideal for your normal waste collection and can be a bit of an eyesore if you leave them discarded outside the house.

You can find out from your local council whether they are putting on a special collection for Christmas trees – they will be chipped and recycled for other products. Alternatively you can take it to a recycling centre yourself and put it in the garden waste skip, or even put it into a composter and use it to keep your garden healthy later in the year.

Glass bottles

What’s the festive season without your favourite drink? It doesn’t have to be alcoholic either; fruit juices and energy drinks can come in glass bottles and we use up 13,350 tonnes of them at this time of year. The CO2 equivalent of that is 1,300 cars on the road for a year, so you can see how much difference would be made with just a little effort.

Once again your local authorities should have a glass recycling system and kerbside collection in place, but if you’re overflowing you can always take them to a bottle bank or a recycling centre. Be sure to take out corks and lids that can’t be recycled and take care not to smash the glass and cut yourself.

Christmas lights

As early as November, people adorn their houses – inside and out – with Christmas lights that come in all shapes and sizes. We throw away around 500 tonnes of them each year, too – a staggering amount – mainly because we assume that they cannot be recycled or we want new ones next year.

The best thing to do is reuse the lights next year, they will last for quite some time if stored properly. If you must throw them out, then check with your local council for special collection details or find a recycling centre who will take them – the bin symbol with a cross through it doesn’t mean they aren’t recyclable.

We hope you enjoyed these festive facts, and perhaps you will be inspired to recycle more of your waste this year. If you are inspired but unsure about where to recycle then you can always make use of our recycling centre at Woodford Recycling; our staff will be happy to talk about what you can and can’t recycle, so get in touch today for more information.


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