Nearly 3 million tonnes of waste is dumped in the UK over the Christmas period. There are many ways in which you can reduce the waste we dump over the festive season. Here's our top tips:
Tip one: Christmas cards and wrapping paper
- Send e-Christmas cards to completely minimise waste. If you do send Christmas cards, buy cards that are made from recycled paper (check the label).
- Recycle all your Christmas cards in your grey recycling bin , or better still, re-use your Christmas cards as gift tags for next year.
- If you're not sure if your wrapping paper can be recycled, give it a scrunch. Unless it springs back into shape, you can recycle it in your green bin. If you're unsure, check out the scrunch test here.. Or better still, keep your wrapping paper and re-use it next year. Avoid glitter, glue and ribbon as these can not be recycled.
Tip 2: Reduce your food waste
The average family throws away a third of the food it buys each year - much of which could have been eaten. Plan ahead and only buy the food you need this Christmas - buy 'half price' not 'buy one get one free'.
Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for further information on reducing your food waste, measuring out portions, planning your shopping and saving yourself money.
If you still have good food left over that isn't going to be eaten, you can donate this to Dussindale Community Fridge at the Dussindale Centre, where the food will be used in the community. Check their Facebook page for opening times.
Tip 3: Recycle old tree lights
Old fairy lights and tree lights can now be recycled at your local Household Recycling centre with electrical items. Baubles and tinsel are non-recyclable and should be placed in your green general waste bin.
Tip 4: Know your collection days
Tip 5: Donate unwanted gifts to charity
Encourage your children to get into the Christmas spirit by donating unwanted toys to your local charity.
Tip 6: Christmas shopping
- Make a list before food and present shopping and only buy what you need.
- Take a re-useable shopping bag(s) with you when you go Christmas shopping for presents or groceries.
- Buy recycled or environmentally sustainable gifts. There are numerous companies specialising in such products.
- Buy and use rechargeable batteries for any new toys or gadgets.
- Take any old toys, games or clothes to charity shops or find a new home for them through your local Freecycle Group.
- Try to avoid buying gifts that involve lots of packaging. Cardboard and paper packaging is good to go into the recycling bin!
Shop local where you can!
Tip 7: Christmas present ideas
Try to shop local for your gifts where you can and avoid gifts with lots of packaging.
Tip 8: Electrical items
If you're buying electrical goods, check if the shop has a 'take back' service to recycle any old items which you might be replacing.
Tip 9: Composting
Fruit and vegetable peelings, including peelings from your brussel sprouts, carrots and potatoes from your Christmas lunch can be composted at home.
You can also put tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells and shredded paper into a compost bin and generate your own compost for your garden.
Tip 10: Too much recycling for your bin?
We have a number of recycling banks through the district for glass and paper. Other banks include books, cooking oil, textiles, toys and electrical items. Find your nearest recycling bank here.
If you only occasionally have too much recycling for your grey bin, you can leave any extra recycling in a dry secure cardboard box at the side of your bin. We'll then take this away for you.
If your grey recycling bin is overflowing every month you can now order a bigger bin. We will replace your old recycling bin with a 360 litre bin. Find out more here.
Tip 11: Christmas trees
Compost your real Christmas tree at any of Norfolk County Council's Recycling Centres.
If you have a garden waste bin and the tree will fit in it, we will collect it. The lid would need to be closed and bin needs to weigh under 80kg.
Holly and mistletoe can also be taken to a Recycling Centre or put into your brown bin.
Tip 12: Recycle everything you can this Christmas!
Cardboard, tin foil, newspapers, plastic/glass bottles, jars, food and drink cartons, plastic tubs, pots, trays cans, tins and empty aerosols can go in your green recycling bin. Please make sure they're not bagged. Plastic bags cannot be recycled.
Unwanted Christmas jumpers etc. can recycled at your nearest textile bank.
Batteries can be taken to any of Norfolk County Council's Recycling Centres.
Visit Norfolk Recycles for further tips on how to have a green Happy Christmas.