What Can You Recycle This Christmas?

All the things that come with Christmas including the presents, the food, and your family are approaching fast. Unfortunately, this also includes the aftermath of waste (and possibly a hard pinch to your cheeks from an elderly aunt).

While we can’t help you with your cheeks, we can definitely help with the waste. We’ve put together a quick Christmas recycling guide for households to get them through the 2015 holiday season.

Reusing And Recycling Wrapping Paper

Christmas wrapping with metallic patches, glitter and plastics can gum up the recycling process. Thin wrapping papers may have little in the way of good quality fibres, so may also be unsuitable for recycling. Then there are the ribbons, bows and sticky tape that often get bundled up in the discarded wrapping. These also present a headache for recyclers, so don’t put them in the recycling bin.

It’s hard to imagine Christmas without all that paper, and we aren’t suggesting ditching it altogether, but do think about the type of wrapping you buy. Ideally it should be both recyclable and recycled. Other ideas are to use reusable gift bags, or offer the kids prizes for careful unwrapping of presents. The paper will often be in good enough condition to reuse next year.

Cutting Down Food And Drink Waste

Around 30% of food is wasted at the best of times, and Christmas can be even more wasteful. You don’t want to under-cater, so choose food that makes for good leftovers. Cutting food waste will also let you extend the Christmas feast for a few days. If you do have leftover fruit and vegies, pop them in the home compost bin rather than the rubbish bin.

A lot of Christmas cheer comes in glass and plastic bottles. These are highly recyclable via your council recycling bin. Many councils will also accept Tetra Pak drink containers, so Christmas drinks should pretty much be waste-free. Otherwise, consider alternatives such as reusable cutlery or bottles and quit plastic for good.

Last Year’s Must-Have Tech

This year’s crop of the gadgets spells doom for last year’s must-have technology. Mobile phones often get handed down to other family members before ending up in a drawer, but far too much e-waste ends up in general rubbish.

An expanding number of recycling programs now accept a widening range of electronic waste, from phones, computers, TVs and game consoles through to batteries, CDs, DVDs and household electrical items.

Good places to find e-waste recycling drop off points are and your local council website. Many of the major retail chains provide recycling drop-off points for specific types of waste – usually related to the items they sell – and some manufacturers run their own recycling programs. Check their websites too.

Remember To Recycle Your Plastic

Santa’s treasures often make it home in disposable plastic shopping bags that can’t be put in the council recycling bin. The ideal solution is for Santa to switch to reusable shopping bags, but if he does leave behind a pile of disposable bags they can be dropped in the recycling bins at most supermarkets.

Finding A Home For Unwanted Gifts

Christmas sometimes leaves a lingering hangover in the form of unwanted gifts. Don’t just toss them away. Opt for the time-honoured tradition of wrapping them up and passing them on to someone else next Christmas, or if that’s likely to land you in hot water, donate them to a charity shop.

The festive season doesn’t have to be the wasteful season. With a little bit of thought and a little bit of planning it’s easy to reduce our impact on the planet, and to make this Christmas just a little bit merrier.

Looking to recycle something a bit bigger?

For businesses, we can help you recycle lighting, batteries and e-waste. As Australia’s largest mercury recycler, we can also help with dental, medical and mining waste.

Call us on 1300 32 62 92, or fill out the form and one of our recycling specialists will be happy to design a recycling program specifically for you.


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