Christmas excesses produce a colossal amount of waste. We’ve all experienced it – the day you’re desperate for your household waste and recycling collections to get back to normal so your overflowing bins can be emptied. Packaging, food waste, old decorations, wrapping and card and even unwanted gifts, Christmas certainly creates a mess.
Recycling cards and wrapping
To reduce a surge of rubbish heading to our straining landfills, try to recycle as much as possible. Every Christmas, one billion Christmas cards end up in the bin when they could be recycled, or cut up and reused as tags next Christmas. The same goes for wrapping paper – so much is discarded with household waste when it could be recycled or reused if it hasn’t been torn too hastily in the Christmas excitement. Glittered or metallic wrapping paper can’t be recycled, so make sure you shop smart too and don’t buy wrapping paper that must end up in landfill eventually. And always remove ribbons and other non-recyclable adornments before popping it in the recycling bin.
Dealing with unwanted Christmas decorations
If you’re treating yourself to some new decorations this Christmas, you might be chucking out the old ones. But knowing if old Christmas decorations are recyclable can be tricky. Recycle Now has some handy hints to help you decide if they can be processed by your local recycling centre, or if they should be destined for landfill. Better still, your local charity shop might be keen to take them off your hands.
Maximise your recycling space
If your recycling bin gets too full, you might be tempted to put recyclable items in your household waste, just to get tidy faster. But if you flatten recyclable waste and packaging as you go, you’ll create much more space and be able to recycle more.
Reduce your food waste
Food waste is horrifyingly enormous at Christmas. It’s the time of year where we over-buy and over-indulgence. But instead of throwing good food away, spend a little time thinking about what leftovers can be recreated into. The Huffington Post has some excellent, and delicious, suggestions about what do to with your leftover turkey and veggies.
Donate unwanted gifts
Don’t be tempted just to chuck unwanted gifts in the bin. Your local charity shop would be delighted to receive them. Or, try an online gift exchange to get what you really wanted instead. Lovemoney.com has got some excellent suggestions of where you can swap unwanted gifts.
Use your skip
If 2018 sees the start of an exciting new renovation or garden overhaul, a skip is a great place to chuck all your Christmas waste. The Guardian found that at Christmas, a medium household throws out five extra bags, while a large house disposes of eight extra bags. Our 2 yard mini skip holds about 40 black bags of waste, so there’s still room for a decent post-Christmas clear-out on top of the excess Christmas waste.