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Top tips for Christmas recycling

20 December 2019

Christmas - it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Filled with crackers, miles of wrapping paper and more mince pies than you can shake a stick at, it’s fair to say that many homes fill a few extra garbage bags during the winter holidays. In fact, we create more rubbish than ever at Christmas time, with British households throwing out around five million tonnes of waste each year!


But there’s a lot we can do to cut down the huge amount of trash that gets sent to landfill during the holiday season. Many Christmas items can be recycled quickly or easily by either putting them in the correct bin or taking a trip to a local household waste recycling centre.


So, what are the do’s and don’ts of Christmas recycling?


Christmas decorations

Once the twelfth night approaches and it’s time to take down your Christmas decorations, don’t reach for the bin bag. Christmas trees, cards and fairy lights are all recyclable.


Christmas and fairy lights are classed as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and should not be thrown in a household waste bin. They’re full of reusable materials including copper wire, glass and plastics, and recycling them can help to reduce our reliance on natural resources.


A very metal Christmas

If you’re going to throw that turkey tray or mince pie casing away - don’t be too hasty! Aluminium foil is widely recycled - but it’s important that foil packaging, tins or trays are rinsed to remove any food before they go in the recycling bin.


And if you’ve had a tipple or two over the holiday season, be sure to recycle your cans and bottles. Aluminium beverage cans are recycled at a rate of 75% in the EU, and the metal has a variety of end-uses that go beyond the modest can. If you’re interested in finding out how a discarded drinks can could go on to form anything from the wing of an aeroplane to the bonnet of a car, click here.


You’ve got the power (to recycle)

Whether it’s a new phone, gaming console or tablet, Christmas is when many people get their hands on coveted electronics upgrades. Rather than leaving old electronics or appliances to languish in a cupboard or gather dust in the garage, there’s lots of ways you can give them a second life.


Consider selling old electronics on a second-hand marketplace for extra cash, donating them to a good cause at a charity shop, or taking them to a local household recycling centre, where valuable materials can be recovered for reuse – even Currys PC World will take your old electronic items.


And although you might have spent most of Christmas day searching for new batteries to use in the latest gadgets, don’t lose track of your old ones. Many local supermarkets and convenience stores now have collection points for batteries, so recycling them is easier than ever.


For guidance on what can and cannot be recycled in your area, visit your local council’s website. Or if you’re looking for more ways to reduce your waste this Christmas, click here to read our blog.


At EMR, we recycle everything from a toaster to an aeroplane. If you have any outdated appliances or waste metals that you’d like to scrap for cash, find your nearest site here.

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