Festive Recycling Tips

How to make sure your waste doesn’t go to waste this holiday season.

Let’s be real: the holidays generate a lot of waste.

From cooking, packaging, wrapping paper, and more, there’s normally no shortage of rubbish to haul away once the bins get collected again.

Thankfully, the importance of recycling is becoming recognised on a wider scale every day.

But, even with our hearts in the right place, we can all still get things wrong.

Many plants and depots often find items that have no business being in the recycling.

If your council follows a commingled recycling policy, this is especially bad as it means a whole batch has to be sent to a landfill site anyway!

That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide to help you know what festive items are recyclable, and which ones are better destined for landfill.

General Tips

Before we get too into Christmas crackers and sweetie wrappers, there are some rules of thumb to follow for every item you encounter this year and next.

  • Put lids back on jars and bottles
  • Make sure any packaging is empty before binning
  • Keep items separate
  • Ensure items are clean and dry
  • Flatten cardboard

Different councils across the UK will have different approaches and guidelines regarding recycling.

Thankfully, you can use Recycle Now to get information on your local policy and recycling facilities.

Food waste

Now, this is a big one. What goes on your plate is a big part of any festive celebration. But, so is what goes in your bin.

When binning food waste, make sure you follow the aforementioned best practices.

You can recycle:
  • Glass bottles and jars – but not drinking glasses or Pyrex as these have different melting points and are recycled differently.
  • Drinks cans and food tins
  • Milk cartons
  • Biscuit trays and tins
  • Crisp tubes (Pringles)
You can’t recycle:
  • Black plastic – the black pigment can’t be picked up by the laser technology used in the sorting process.
  • Metal tubes (tomato puree)
  • Cooking oil tins
  • Sweet wrappers
  • Crisp packets

Wrapping paper

For getting rid of wrapping paper, you may have heard of the scrunch test. Our tip here is: try it, it works!

That’s right, by scrunching wrapping paper into a ball you’ll be able to tell whether or not it’s recyclable.

How does this work? Simple: if the paper stays in a ball, it’s recyclable. However, when the paper is filled with too much glitter, foil, or sticky tape, it’s non-recyclable.

When this is the case, the paper will bounce back if you try and scrunch it, and needs to go into general waste.

Unrecyclable items

As you may have gathered, you cannot organise materials by de-facto ‘can be recycled’ and ‘cannot be recycled.

There are some items, of all materials, that can’t be recycled, for one reason or another, and need to be disposed of differently.

  • Nappies can’t be recycled and need to go into general waste
  • Not all plastics are recyclable. You can’t recycle plant pots, tubs, trays (think toothpaste), or rigid plastics like toys, Tupperware or CD/DVD cases

Some items can be recycled or disposed of economically, but not through your recycling collection.

  • Batteries that get thrown away alongside general waste/recycling can become punctured or crushed in the process. This can cause them to explode and start fires. So, dispose of the safely by taking them to your local recycling plant or supermarket.
  • Fabrics and textiles equally can’t be placed in with other recycling and should be taken to a collection point, clothes bank, or charity shop to be gotten rid of.

Need more help?

We hope that these tips help you recycle responsibly this holiday season.

And should you run into trouble during this period with your furniture or upholstery, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your nearest Furniture Medic business for help from our experts.