Top tips to help you recycle properly, enjoy the festivities and do your bit to help the planet this Christmas. Heidi Beaumont-Preston and Anita Diaper from Norfolk Recycles reveal how to make cleaning up after Christmas simple and stress-free.
1. Do use the scrunch test to tell which bin your wrapping paper should go in
The scrunch test makes it quick and simple to tell where you need to dispose of your wrapping paper after a busy Christmas morning. All you need to do is scrunch the paper up into a ball. If it bounces back or unwraps, then the paper isn’t recyclable and needs to go in your rubbish bin. If however, the paper stays screwed up, then it can be added to your recycling bin. Over the festive period, we produce enough wrapping paper to reach the moon,” Anita says. “This is why it’s important we do all we can to recycle, reuse and reduce our waste.”
2. Do remove bows and ribbons from the paper before recycling
Christmas morning, especially when you have young children, can be a delightful frenzy, but taking time to dispose of your wrapping paper properly is worth it in the long run. “Before recycling your wrapping paper, remove any ribbons and bows as they can’t be recycled and could contaminate your bin, meaning your hard work could go to waste and your recycling may not be used,” Anita says.
3. Don’t recycle batteries
If there’s one thing you’ll likely have lots of this Christmas – it’s batteries. “When throwing away decorations or broken toys, be sure to remove the batteries first,” Heidi says. “You can then dispose of them at your local recycling centre or most supermarkets and electronic stores have somewhere you can get rid of them safely.” If you’re not sure what to put in your bin, use Norfolk Recycles’ Bin Genie to find the most convenient, and eco-friendly way of getting rid of your rubbish this Christmas.
4. Do regift items you don’t want
It’s common for us to receive one or two presents we didn’t really want, but instead of throwing it away, why not regift it? “Send it to someone that will get more use from it or consider selling the item on eBay or Facebook,” Anita says. “Reusing products is a great way to help the environment and you may make some extra money doing it! You could also ask relatives and friends to send e-cards this Christmas instead of posting a card, and help cut down the amount of paper we use over the holidays,” Heidi says.
5. Do use Food Savvy’s portion planner to plan your Christmas meals
Visit foodsavvy.org.uk and use the portion planning tool for hints on how to reduce your food waste this Christmas, plan meals to avoid buying more than you need, and find recipes of how you can turn your leftovers into tantalisingly tasty Christmas treats.
6. Don’t throw away your Christmas lights or decorations
Broken bulbs and baubles are a common Christmas catastrophe, but instead of throwing them in the bin, why not get creative and turn them into a cool ornament? “Explore sites like Instagram and Pinterest for ideas of how you can turn your disused or broken Christmas decorations in stunning, unique home trinkets,” Anita says. “Upcycling is a big trend at the moment and is a great way to reuse common household items and reduce your household waste.” You can break down your real Christmas tree and use it as compost for your garden in spring, or donate your artificial tree to a local charity shop. You can also take your Christmas tree (real or artificial) and your broken lights to your local recycling centre. “Our recycling centres are open throughout Christmas and New Year and on the bank holiday. You can check our website for opening times to plan your visit,” Heidi shares. A trip to the recycling centre is also a good way to avoid your bin overflowing, especially during the festive period when regular waste collections are disrupted.
7. Do keep recycling this Christmas
By following some simple tips and tricks, it’s easy to enjoy Christmas and still do your part to help win the fight against climate change. “Typically, households produce 30 per cent more waste over the Christmas period, which is why it’s essential we all come together and do what we can,” Anita says. “There’s so much about climate change that feels outside of our control, but this is something we can all do to make a difference, and spread the joy of Christmas even further.”
Norfolk Recycles is a non-profit organisation and is part of the Norfolk Waste Partnership (NWP) where Norfolk’s County, District, Borough and City councils are working together to improve waste and recycling services for all those that live in and visit Norfolk.
To discover more about how you can reduce, reuse, recycle and recover this Christmas visit norfolkrecycles.com.