Households are approaching the worst time of the year for recycling waste as families drown under a mountain of Christmas packaging, experts have warned.
Waste disposal experts at Junk Hunters advise households to stop and think this Christmas, and to not take the easy route out by chucking everything in the general bin.
They also recommend double-checking typically recyclable items such as paper, plastic and card as they may not be suitable if adorned in shimmery, glittery designs.
Harsha Rathnayake of Junk Hunters said: “From wrapping paper and cards, to foil trays for pigs in blankets and ripped Christmas crackers, festive paraphernalia is aplenty and while much of it is recyclable, a lot of it is unsuitable.
“People think they are trying to do the right thing by recycling certain items in their boxes, but good intentions don’t always work during Christmas time.
“This can cause whole boxes of rubbish, some of which are suitable to be rejected and sent to landfill which wastes recyclable materials. By following a few simple steps, you can do right by the environment this Christmas.”
Here’s his list of Christmas trash dos and don’ts:
Christmas cards & envelopes
Do – recycle if the cards and envelopes are made of paper.
Don’t – recycle if they are covered in glitter or foil, dispose of in the general bin.
Do – remove all tags, bows, ribbons and sellotape and try the ‘scrunch test’. If it stays in a ball once scrunched it can go in recycling.
Don’t – put it in recycling if it doesn’t stay scrunched, pop it in the general bin.
Do – put all cooked and raw food into the food recycling bin.
Don’t – put any food in the food recycling that still has residual bits of cling film or foil, and don’t forget to remove pesky chocolate wrappers.
Do – clean any disposable paper plates, trays and party cups and add them to the paper recycling bin.
Don’t – put dirty, food stained disposable paper plates into the recycling bin.
Glass bottles and jars
Do – swill glass bottles and jars and put them in the recycling.
Don’t – take their lids off, the lids help them to be easily sorted and recycled separately.
Do – cut into small pieces and dispose of in the garden waste bin. If there is a lack of equipment to do this, the local council will have information on how to recycle it. Wreaths, holly and mistletoe can also go in with garden waste.
Don’t – dispose of them in the paper recycling bin.
Old Christmas Lights
Do – follow the electronic disposal guidelines on the set before recycling and check with the local council for recycling information.
Don’t – just chuck a set in the general bin as believe it or not, many lights can be recycled.
Do – take toys out of the packaging put them in the general bin.
Don’t – forget to take the batteries out and dispose of them at the local battery collection point. These are available at most supermarkets and can be found online.