Christmas recycling

Recycle your Christmas waste

Thank you to everyone who participated in recycling this year. To help you continue into the new year, here are some tips and information on recycling more this Christmas and New Year.

You can recycle Christmas cards, cardboard packaging, boxes, wrapping paper, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, food and drink cans in your red recycling bin. You can also take these items to one of the recycle bring bank sites or at Chalvey Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Christmas recycling Recycle your Christmas tree

250 tonnes of Christmas trees are simply thrown away after Christmas.* If you have a real Christmas tree, the most environmentally conscious way to dispose of it after Christmas is to compost it. If you cannot compost your Christmas tree yourself, the council can help.

Household collections

As the green waste service is continuing through the winter, you can just chop off the branches from your Christmas tree and put them into the green bin along with any other garden waste such as leaves. Small stumps can be cut up and put in the bin, larger ones will need to be taken to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Make sure all decorations, tree stands, soil, pots and netting have been removed.

What happens to the trees we collect?

They are either composted or turned into chippings which will be used as a mulch to spread on the flower beds. Mulch will suppress weed growth and help the soil to retain moisture.

What can I do with an artificial tree?

Unfortunately, due to the combination of materials used to make an artificial tree, you are unable to recycle it. However, if it is still in good condition when you decide to replace it, why not ask friends and family, or donate it to charity so someone else can use it or you can take it to the Chalvey Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Christmas facts

  • The amount of wrapping paper estimated to be thrown away in the UK at Christmas could stretch around the equator nine times or to the moon if each sheet was laid end to end*. Recycle all wrapping paper in your red recycling bin.
  • Every year the UK throws out an estimated 4,500 tonnes of tin foil over the Christmas period. This is enough to cover around 1500 square miles* - roughly the size of Suffolk. Recycle all your waste foil at the Chalvey Household Waste Recycling Centre or one of our recycle bring bank sites. 
  • Around 500 tonnes of old Christmas tree lights are discarded each year, yet they can be recycled.* If they are in good working order, you could donate them to charity. Even lights that are beyond repair can be recycled. Recycle them by putting them in the Fluorescent tubes container at the Chalvey Household Waste Recycling Centre.
  • 13,350 tonnes of glass is thrown out in the UK during the festive season – from champagne and sherry bottles to mincemeat and cranberry sauce jars. Recycling all of them could save 4,200 tonnes of CO2 equivalent being produced, which is equivalent to taking around 1,300 cars off the road for one year or to not taking about 630 around the world flights*. Recycle all your glass bottles and jars in your red recycling bin.

*based on WRAP research from 2007.