Cutting down on waste this Christmas

Christmas is a time of year that we British love, we spare no expense and enjoy the treats that it brings. Household waste shockingly increases by 30% over the Christmas period. More than 19,000 tonnes (around 10 million) turkeys will be cooked on Christmas day. 17.5 million mince pies will be washed down with coffees, wines and spirits. Along with 83 square kilometres (11,642 football pitches) of wrapping paper added to rubbish bins throughout the UK.


Think Recycle

Just about anything and everything can be recycled. By recycling we are ensuring our environment is reduced in pollutants and that landfill is kept to a minimum. When a material is recycled we are converting it into a new product thereby reducing the need to consume and use natural resources. Recycling will conserve important raw materials such as trees and will protect natural habitats. Recycling labels are readily available on all packaging.

Christmas packaging

Over 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used in the UK each year. 83 square kilometres of that is Christmas wrapping paper. By bagging up Christmas packaging and recycling it, the equivalent of a tree per household could be saved.

Food packaging

Foils which house turkeys and mince pies can be recycled. Carefully wash these items before placing in a suitable recycling bin. Plastic can take up to 500 years to fully decompose, yet it can be recycled. Check all labelling and sort your rubbish accordingly, not only will you be helping the environment but you will also be reducing the amount of household produced (saving on an overflowing bin).


Glass is 100% recyclable and can be reused over and over again. Shockingly, 5 out of every 6 glass bottles are thrown away. This Christmas you could recycle every glass bottle used and save the environment a little. There are 50,000 bottle banks sited across the UK.

Aluminium drink cans & tins

Recycling just 1 can will save enough energy to run a set of Christmas tree lights for 2 hours. Every steel can is 100% recyclable.

Real Christmas trees

Real Christmas trees are biodegradable so they can easily be recycled or reused. The majority of councils offer a road side collection in the 2 weeks post-Christmas for Christmas trees.

Christmas cards

Christmas cards can be added to a suitable recycling bin or donated to a local school or pre-school.

Broken Christmas lights

Broken Christmas lights can be recycled, although we suggest you check with your local council before adding these to your recycle bin.

Discard or donate

If you received a new gift which is simply replacing an older version, think how you could reuse/donate the older one. Charities such as the British Heart Foundation offer a free furniture collection service.

Electrical equipment

Charities will offer a collection service on electrical equipment which is in working order or you could consider selling any electrical equipment on a local selling page. Gumtree and Facebook are great tools for selling and getting items collected from your home. Always think wisely before letting strangers into your home and let someone know if you have an item being collected if you live alone.

Broken items

Anything which cannot be recycled or donated should be disposed of. Consider how you can dispose of things in keeping with the environment. Local refuse centres are open throughout the Christmas period and most staff will offer assistance and advice if you are unsure of where an item can be disposed of. If an item can be recycled, they will recycle at every opportunity.

Lack of time/transport are factors in homes not recycling or adequately disposing of waste wisely. Consider using a waste management company. We cover the whole of the capital and surrounding areas on a same day service and offer weekend and evening collection slots. Waste is charged by volume, so you’ll only pay for the items you are disposing of. We are fully committed to sustainable living and where possible we reuse and recycle.

Junk Hunters 0800 233 5865