Top ten tips to recycle better this Christmas

Cookie dough cut as the shape of arrows of recycling

Two local councils are urging residents to recycle better this Christmas, with their latest campaign against waste.

Broadland District Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Jan Davis, said:

“There are lots of things we can all do over the festive period to help reduce waste and the contamination of recycling. Households generate around 30% more waste during this time of year, but with a little bit of planning and by following our tips, we can significantly reduce that figure and still have a very merry Christmas.”

South Norfolk Council's Cabinet Member for Cleaner Safer Environment, Cllr Keith Kiddie, said:

“The best way to reduce waste is not to generate it in the first place, but if that’s not possible, you can put a lot of your Christmas waste in your recycling bin. Follow our tips to find out about all the different items you can recycle. It probably won’t be a white Christmas, but you can certainly make it a green one!”

  1. Plan ahead and buy only the food and drink you will need for Christmas and the New Year. When shopping around for deals, search for the ‘half price’ stickers, rather than ‘buy one get one free’ to avoid accumulating extras that will end up wasted.
  2. Find recipes that use leftover items from Christmas to save on money and waste. Head to the Love Food Hate Waste website for recipe suggestions.
  3. Consider sending e-cards, it’s much cheaper for you and better for the environment.
  4. 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.
  5. Compost your real Christmas tree at any of Norfolk County Council’s Recycling Centres. Find your local Recycling Centre. Or if you have a garden waste bin in South Norfolk cut your tree down and put it inside your garden bin if branches are no more than 4” diameter. In Broadland, leave your Christmas tree beside your garden waste bin on your normal collection day from 8 to 19 January.
  6. Consider gifts which don’t have excess packaging and where packaging is unavoidable don’t forget to recycle as much as you can in your recycling bin and use reusable or recyclable gift wrap.
  7. If you’re inviting company round this Christmas, remember to have a recycling bin and a separate rubbish bin for your guests to use and ensure that all recycling is clean, dry and loose.
  8. Avoid purchasing disposable items such as disposable cutlery and paper plates.
  9. Buy loose fruit and vegetables, preferably in season, and only buy what you need. When all the work is done you can compost your peelings in your home composter or your food waste bin in Broadland.
  10. Hold on to your Christmas cards and use these to make gift tags or new cards for next year. Remember, most non-glittery cards can also be recycled in your recycle bin.
  11. Donate any old toys, games, or clothes to charity shops or find a new home for them through your local Freecycle Group.
  12. Remember to make the best use of your local recycling centres. Some towns and villages may have their own recycling banks to provide additional recycling capacity for glass, textiles, books and CDs.

If you are unsure about what can and can’t be recycled in South Norfolk or Broadland, please visit our recycling page.

To find out when your bins will be collected over the festive period, view your bin collection days.

Published: 29 November 2023