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Christmas bin dates and festive ‘hacks’ to be green

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but an indulgent festive season is not just sometimes bad for your waist line, it can be pretty bad for the environment as well.

You can see the revised bin collection dates over the festive period at the bottom of this article – but, first, read how you can reduce what you put in the rubbish bin.

People across the country waste more food over Christmas than at any other time of the year.

There is also a big increase in other things being thrown away – like wrapping and packaging – that might normally be reused or recycled at other times of the year.

But everyone can do their bit to have a green Christmas this year. It is not difficult – just follow these tips below:


  • Recycle wrapping paper but remove ribbons, bows etc first. Use the ‘scrunch test’ – if it stays scrunched, please recycle it
  • Use reusable plates and cups, and decorations
  • Recycle your leftover food; or find one of many recipes available to use any extra vegetables or meat
  • Recycle foil and cans – recycling just six foil mince pie cases can save enough energy to power a TV long enough to watch an hour of Christmas programmes
  • Flatten cardboard boxes before recycling to save room in your bag or wheelie bin. You can also drop items to your local recycling centre to save space over Christmas
  • Use rechargeable batteries. Recycle your old batteries by putting them in a bag on top of your blue wheelie bin for recycling collections – or take them to a local supermarket that has a battery recycling bin
  • Buy drinks, like lemonade or beer, in large containers, rather than many small ones and avoid using disposable plates and cups if you are a planning a party.


  • Do not recycle glittery cards or paper – even better, do not buy them because they cannot be recycled
  • In fact, around 300,000 tonnes of cards are sent in the UK at Christmas. That is enough to cover a return journey from Ealing to Lapland 100 times. Why not consider e-cards instead? Or some people make donations to charity instead of buying cards
  • Almost 14,000 tonnes of glass is thrown out – the equivalent weight of 70,000 reindeer
  • Around 500 tonnes of old Christmas tree lights are discarded each year. If they work, you can donate them to charity; if they are beyond repair you should recycle them in the same way as electrical appliances
  • Do not throw away unwanted presents. Give them to your local charity shop because there is sure to be someone who will like them
  • Do not choose disposable or flimsy decorations that will be used once and thrown away.


Your normal rubbish and recycling collection dates may change over the Christmas and new year period. See the table below. You will also be able to see this information on the back page of the Winter edition of Around Ealing magazine, or check it at www.ealing.gov.uk/recycling

Christmas and new year collections 2019
Christmas and new year collections 2019

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