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Have yourself a recycle-friendly Christmas

15th December 2017

Have Yourself a Recycle-Friendly Christmas! That’s the festive season message from Viridor, one of the UK’s biggest recycling companies, and the company has come up with a list of handy hints to help consumers.

The key to recycling all year round is Right Stuff, Right Bin and Christmas is no different but what is different is that over Christmas we use about 50 square miles of wrapping paper – that’s enough to cover Guernsey.

Viridor’s bigger material recycling facilities (MRFs) will each see the volume of paper and card received increase by 500 to 600 tonnes a week in December and January or a rise of 2,000 tonnes per MRF over the Christmas period as a whole.

Christmas gift buying – particularly online purchases which are delivered in boxes – present great recycling opportunities and, remember,  if you have generously given and received many gifts and are overwhelmed with recycling, you can use your recycling bins and drop off excess items at a household waste recycling centre.

Your local authority will have a list of centres and many offer an A to Z list to answer all your recycling questions, including how to recycle decoration-free natural Christmas trees.

Here is how you can do your bit to boost recycling rates over December and January:

  • Flatten your boxes and try to keep them dry and ready for collection.
  • Add your Christmas cards, but no glitter, please.
  • When it comes to wrapping paper, the shiny metallic and glitter varieties cannot be accepted. Do the “scrunch test” – if you can scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can go in the recycling, but please do flatten the paper again once you have performed the test.
  • Please do remove bows and tape.
  • Batteries should not be added to household bins as these present a fire safety risk – particularly the lithium-ion batteries found in phones, cameras, laptops, toys, vapes and a host of other items. Some batteries can be recycled at supermarkets but lithium batteries need to be safely disposed of at household waste recycling sites.
  • Plastic bottles should ideally be crushed.
  • Glass bottles should also retain their tops but please wash these if they contain a sticky substance as this can interfere with machinery.
  • Rinse cans.
  • If you are replacing crockery for your festive celebrations, please don’t add this to glass recycling for home collections but rather take this general waste to a recycling centre. This includes oven-safe ceramic and glass cookware.
  • Plan ahead to avoid food waste or, if your local authority accepts food waste, take advantage of this opportunity or consider investing in a home composting solution.
  • If Christmas and New Year involves some new clothes, take advantage of the opportunity to donate old clothes to a local charity shop.
  • If you are replacing furniture as a festive treat, again, you can find a charity which would be delighted to have a donation which can live another life with a new family.  Some household recycling sites have containers on site for this purpose.

For further information please contact: