With Christmas now just a distant memory, often we’re left with a lot of items that end up getting stored back in the attic to gather dust until December rolls around again. But a lot of Christmas leftovers can be recycled or reused – have a look at our festive list to get a better idea of what you can do!
Despite paper being a recyclable item, not all wrapping paper can be recycled.Wrapping paper can be dyed or have glitter in it, and the majority of the time (unless you happen to be a very careful present opener) it will have sticky tape on its edges. These things often make wrapping paper a lot more difficult to recycle. It’s a good idea to check with your local council and find out whether you’re able to put it in your recycling bin, as this can vary from area to area.
If you aren’t able to recycle your wrapping paper, then you could try reusing it for next year – just try not to tear it when opening presents (a difficult task when children are involved) and keep it folded neatly for next year. If this just isn’t an option for you, try to buy recycled wrapping paper.
Similar to our first point, Christmas cards are usually considered very easy to recycle as they’re mainly paper, however, a lot of them have added embellishments like glitter or embossed writing, which may mean they aren’t recyclable. Again, check with your council to find out their regulations. If you’re not able to recycle your cards, why not turn them into tags for next year? Cut them up into different sizes and store them away – they can also be turned into festive bookmarks.
Christmas tree lights are recyclable, with some councils having collections specifically for small electrical items. If this isn’t possible, you will be able to take them to household waste recycling centres, or failing this, you can offer them away to family or friends as someone is sure to find a good home for them.
There’s quite a lot of versatility with wreaths, in that if they’re made of natural materials such as ivy and holly. When these bits are removed from the base, you can dispose of them in your garden waste bin. You can also keep hold of any decorations, such as berries and bows, and use them to make christmas cards, tags or decoration for presents. If your Christmas wreath isn’t made of natural materials, you can always pass it on when you no longer want it.
Baubles are usually made of glass or plastic. Glass decorations aren’t recyclable, and plastic ones aren’t usually either as they often have glitter or small embellishments which will often affect the recycling process. Try donating any unwanted baubles to a charity shop, or decorate any plain ones yourself!
Unfortunately, tinsel is another material which isn’t recyclable. It will need to be either thrown away once it’s come to the end of its life, or if it’s in good condition, given away (though this might not be the best option, as tinsel doesn’t have much longevity).
Real trees are recyclable, as you would probably expect. Once the decorations are removed and the tree is bare, you can take it to a collection point. Trees are usually shredded and the chippings are used in local woodland areas.
Artificial trees, on the other hand, can’t be recycled. You can instead donate them to charity or pass them on if they are in good condition.
Although the majority of food packaging can be recycled, it will need to be well sorted and organised as different materials are used for different products. For example, a lot of companies use cardboard and plastic film, so you will need to check each item and ensure they are disposed of correctly. The item itself will often tell you whether it can be recycled.
Most people probably assume that paper chains are recyclable due to the name of the item, but it’s not actually the case. Often, paper chains are dyed bright colours and have soft fibres which make the recycling process very difficult. Put your used or unwanted chains in your home compost bin instead, or get in touch with your local council for other options if you don’t have one.
This one’s fairly easy – most glass bottles can be recycled, so just check whether they are able to go in your household recycling bin. If not, there should be a bottle bank nearby where you can dispose of any glass safely.
You are able to recycle foil, trays and mince pie cases at your nearest recycling bank. A lot of household recycling schemes also accept these, but check with your local council first. Be sure to wash them and get rid of any food residue before recycling these products.
Plastic film is generally not accepted in your household recycling, but some larger stores collect and recycle it at the carrier bag collection point. There should be a label telling you whether it can or cannot be recycled.
Hopefully the above information and tips have been useful. Recycling is extremely important for the environment, and with so many options available, there’s really no excuse to not recycle your unwanted Christmas items. Here at Danjo’s, we offer a wide range of disposal services, so get in touch today to find out how we can help you.