Christmas Recycling Tips

With Christmas just around the corner it truly is the time to relax and enjoy the festivities, however each year there's always an excess of waste. We overuse wrapping paper, leftovers are at an all time high, Christmas cards pop though our doors everyday, and we have a million empty chocolate wrappers.

However there are some key things we can and can't recycle from our typical Christmas waste so why not do your best and recycle as much as possible? Here we run through the dos and don'ts for this year.

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are typically one of the most widely recycled items around Christmas. Being made from paper they can be thrown in the recycling bin without any issues. However if your cards have foil or glitter then they are unrecyclable. The best thing you can do is avoid foil and glitter at all costs. Always check on the back of the pack if the cards can be recycled.... or better still, ditch the Christmas cards altogether and opt for a donation to charity instead - you could always send an email to your nearest and dearest explaining your decision and encouraging them to do the same? However, if you do find yourself in receipt of a batch of cards that can't be recycled how about keeping them for next years' gift tags or using them for Xmas decorations for the kids? Whatever you do, don't put them in with your recycling as glitter or sparkles from the card could contaminate the other items that are fully recyclable.

Wrapping Paper

When you discard your used wrapping paper, make sure all ribbons and bows are removed. These are often made out of plastic and other synthetic materials. If these are correctly removed wrapping paper can be quite easily recycled provided it isn't foil based. These days it's easy to find wrapping paper that is fully recyclable or made from recycled materials. Alternatively think about using gift bags, these can be used time and time again by recipients ... just remember to remove any old tags otherwise there could be quite a mix up!


If you're using a real Christmas tree this year, when the festive period has finished the best thing to do is to cut it into smaller pieces placing them into your garden waste bin. Some local councils will provide information on how to recycle them if you are unsure.  Make sure all plastic tree decorations have been properly removed prior to discarding the tree.

There are also a lot of charity Christmas tree collection services available. For example Keech hospice is collecting trees and for a small fee which is donated to the charity. Keech will then work with partners to ensure that tree is recycled properly.

Remember, there is always the option of an artificial tree - although this might seem less environmentally friendly the fact that it will be used year after year makes it a viable eco option - particularly if you can find one that is made from recycled plastic!


Electronics are regularly recycled around Christmas due to people getting upgrades as gifts from love ones. Many businesses do offer a gadget recycling services, but if your device doesn't qualify for one of these be sure to follow the strict electrical disposal guidelines when getting rid of them and recycle the items wherever possible. There are lots of recycling points in shops now - particularly for electronics and clothes.


From leftover turkey to unwanted sprouts, anything goes when tipping food into your food recycling. Make sure that there are no residual bits leftover when disposing your waste as this can affect them being recycled. Food waste is relatively easy the best thing you can do is ensure all wrappings are separated.

At Cawleys we have the expertise to handle all your collection, disposal and recycling requirements, whatever type or quantity of waste it may involve we can assist your needs. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas however you are spending it!

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