Reduce, Reuse and Recycle this Christmas in the South Hams

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December 2023

Reduce, reuse and recycle this Christmas


We're now more than a week into December, and many of us are getting ready for Christmas in earnest. 

We're planning what food we want to eat, the presents we're buying for loved ones, and how we want to decorate our homes. 

If you're in the middle of planning your festivities, have you thought about how you can be more green this year?

If you'd like to try and be more sustainable this Christmas, we've got some handy information on what you can and can't recycle this Christmas, along with information on changes to your collection days this festive season.

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Recycling and waste collections - dates for Christmas

SH Waste Dates

Recycling this Christmas

Christmas creates a lot of waste and it's not always obvious what is recyclable and what isn't. Our quick guide should help you know what to do when disposing of the more tricky items you might have this Christmas.

Cards Christmas South Hams

Christmas cards

Any Christmas cards with no glitter, stuck on decoration or shiny bits can be recycled - put it into recycling box 2.

Glittery cards, cards with shiny bits or stuck on decorations should go in your grey bin.

Brown Wrapping Paper Christmas

Wrapping paper

Normal Christmas wrapping paper and sticky tape should be put in your grey bin. Our recycling team can't take normal wrapping paper, so if you put it into in with your recycling, we can’t take it and will leave it in your container.

If you want to be more sustainable this Christmas, use brown or plain paper instead of standard Christmas wrapping paper.


Food leftovers

We all tend to overdo it at Christmas and cook more than we can eat - you can put leftovers in your food caddy, including:

✔ Turkey, chicken or meat carcasses

✔ Uncooked or cooked food waste

✔ Fruit and veg peelings, nutshells and fruit stones

Online Delivery Packaging

Online delivery packaging

You'll undoubtedly have a lot of packaging around the house if you're doing some of your Christmas shopping online.

If you have cardboard, cut it up, flatten it and put it in recycling box 2.

Any polystyrene or bubble wrap from your parcels should go in your grey bin.

Sweet Tubs Christmas South Hams

Sweet tubs

Plastic sweet tubs can be recycled in your white sack, as can foil cases - rinse them and scrunch them together in a ball.

Plastic sweet wrappers should go in your grey bin.

Advent calendars

Advent calendars

Most advent calendars are recyclable - you can separate the main parts and pop them in your recycling:

✔ Cardboard - in recycling box 2

✔ Foil (scrunch it into a ball first) - in your white sack

✔ Plastic trays - also in your white sack

If you want to be really sustainable, you can buy a reusable calendar and add homemade sweets and treats each year instead.


Christmas decorations

Tinsel, broken baubles, and homemade decorations with paint or preservatives should be put in your grey bin.

Broken fairy lights should be taken to your nearest recycling centre.

Drinks containers South Hams

Drinks containers

Will you be enjoying a tipple or two this Christmas?

Most drinks containers are recyclable:

✔ Plastic bottles, their lids and metal lids from glass jars and bottles - in your white sack

✔ Juice cartons - recycling box 2

✔ Glass bottles and jars - in recycling box 1

✘ Corks (natural and plastic) - not recyclable, should go in your grey bin

Christmas Trees South Hams 2023

Christmas trees

We will not be able to collect real Christmas trees this year - please take these to your local recycling centre.

If your fake tree has reached the end of its life, please take it to your local recycling centre.

Some useful links

Gathered around laptop

Want to know more?

Visit our website for more on what you can and can't recycle this Christmas.

Here are some other links that might help you be more sustainable this Christmas, including information from Recycle Devon: