Lets waste less this Christmas

Christmas is normally a time of plenty, but have a thought for the crews who pick up your bin this year and try not to let all the excess effect your waste-line.   

Across Shropshire residents will be chucking out almost 2 million aluminium mince pie cases, the carcasses from 50,000 turkeys, the packaging from 125,000 Christmas puddings, 30,000 glass jars from cranberry sauce, 40,000 real Christmas trees and 400,000m2 of wrapping paper.  All this means we normally see a huge increase in the amount of rubbish produced but we can all help reduce this simply by making full use of your kerbside recycling boxes.  Not only is this kinder to your bin man but its kinder to the environment too.

To help you waste less this Christmas here are some top tips…

  1. Recycle your wrapping paper - Most types of wrapping paper can be included with your paper recycling.  The only type they don’t accept at the paper mill is the ‘plasticy’ types - to check if paper is recyclable - try the ‘tear test’ – if you cannot tear it then it is probably laminated/plasticised and cannot be recycled.

  2. Love Food Hate Waste - In Shropshire the average family will throw away about £60 worth of food just over the month of December.  Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for ideas on how to keep more in your pocket and less in your bin.

  3. Recycle your Christmas cards - Salopians will receive around 10 million greetings cards this Christmas.  A great idea to reduce waste is to cut them up into gift tags for next year and remember you can recycle any cards which can’t be reused with your paper recycling collection service.

  4. Get real and recycle your Chistmas tree - After Christmas you can put real/natural trees out for collection in – or next to – your garden waste bin.  They are collected by the garden waste collection service and sent for composting.  This year for every tree we collect our contractor Veolia will make a donation to local charity Shropshie Wildlife Trust. 

  5. Aluminium foil is precious metal - when you've roasted the turkey this Christmas - dont bin it - just give it a rinse and tin foil can be recycled with your cans as can all the foil cases from your mince pies.  We get through more than 12 acres of tin foil each Christmas in Shropshire - all of which is 100% recyclable.  

  6. Don't get in a pickle with glass jars - we all get through more glass jars at Christmas, from horseradish to cranberry sauce and instant coffee, they can all be recycled. Just give them a rinse and pop them in with your glass bottles.  If you recycle one more jar this Christmas it will save enough energy to power your TV for long enough to watch the Queens speech.

  7. Could you recycle one more thing? Remember recycling doesn’t just happen at the kerbside – we provide over 100 public sites where you can bring extra recycling and these include recycling banks for things like cardboard, Tetra pak juice cartons, old clothes, shoes and textiles and small electrical items. 

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James Thompson James Thompson

Waste Prevention Officer, Waste Management, Shropshire Council

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