What to recycle after Christmas

28th December 2016 | Recycling

Christmas recycling is not as easy as you might think. With all that paper and cardboard ready to be thrown out, surely this is a prime opportunity to recycle. However, it is not as straightforward as you might think.

It is important to make sure you know what can and cannot be used again, as “normal recyclates” which have been contaminated in some way, cannot be easily separated out and end up being sent to landfill as a result. All councils were told by the Welsh Government they had to recycle 58% of their waste in 2015-2016 as part of a bid to recycle 70% of waste by 2024-2025. The next target is 64% by 2020.

Recycling rules vary from council to council, so it’s always a good idea to double check with your local authority what they can and cannot recycle. Here are some guidelines:

Waste Categories

Christmas Wrapping Paper – the materials which are used for making some wrapping paper mean it’s not always accepted for recycling. It is often dyed, laminated or contains non-paper additives like gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter or plastics which can’t be recycled. And often it has sticky tape attached, which makes the recycling process very difficult.

Cardboard – the number of boxes being used to send out online shopping means the number of cardboard containers is high. As such, often recycling bins overflow and the cardboard ends up in General Waste. Break boxes down and make sure they are recycled.

Christmas Cards – many of these are decorated with glitter, ribbons and so on, which can make them difficult to recycle. Some councils and high street stores and supermarkets will have special collection points for cards in January. Or you can use them for gift tags for next Christmas.

Disposable Plates, Napkins and Kitchen Towels – soiled paper cups, plates and napkins cannot be recycled. The same goes for plastic foodware, with the exception of some plastic cups.

Sticky Tape & Stamps – sticky tape cannot be recycled, but stamps can.

More information available on the website below