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Watch your waste/waist this Christmas

Watch your waste this Christmas

An indulgent festive season can be bad for your waist line, but it is not always a great thing for the environment either. Households across the country waste more food over Christmas than at any other time of the year.

We also see a big increase in other things being chucked away, like wrapping and packaging – much of which can be saved or recycled.

Councillor Mik Sabiers, the council’s cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “Nationally, we generate around roughly 30% more waste over Christmas – but the good news is that most of it can be recycled. I encourage local people to make the most of their blue and green bins this holiday season.”

  • Recycle wrapping paper but remove ribbons, bows etc first. And do not recycle glittery cards or paper
  • Use reusable plates and cups, and decorations
  • Recycle your leftover food; or find a recipe 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 the EastEnders Christmas special. Use the ‘scrunch test’ on any ‘foil’ packing – if it stays scrunched, recycle it
  • Use rechargeable batteries. And recycle old batteries (put them in a bag on top of your blue wheelie bin).
  • Did you know 300,000 tonnes of cards is sent in the UK at Christmas? It is enough to cover a return journey from Ealing to Lapland 100 times. Why not consider e-cards instead?
  • 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 electric appliances.
Christmas tree
Christmas trees can be recycled

Your normal rubbish and recycling collection dates may change over the Christmas and new year period, see the back page of the December edition of Around Ealing magazine for details – or check your dates at www.ealing.gov.uk/recycling


The council will be collecting real Christmas trees for recycling in January – and there will also be drop-off points in local open spaces for you to take your trees to. Find out more in our story.

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