Warwickshire Recycles - Christmas 2019

Warwickshire County Council
Xmas newsletter header

In Christmas edition....

  • Our new Christmas Slim Your Bin module
  • Fake or real Christmas tree?
  • How to cut down on Christmas food waste
  • Plastic free gift wrapping
  • Preloved presents
  • Fabulous leftovers
  • Recycling at Christmas
  • Don't miss your kerbside collection!


***New*** Slim Your Bin Christmas Module


As a nation we throw away more waste at Christmas than at any other time of year.  To help you this Christmas, we have a new module in our Slim Your Bin training programme.

It will cover topics such as recycling wrapping paper, Christmas trees, how to be more sustainable and reduce your Christmas food waste.  You will also have a chance to win £20 of vouchers.  Sign up today!

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We're on Pinterest

Warks Recyces Pinterest

Pinterest is a social network which allows users to pin articles of interest.  A bit like a virtual pin board for interesting things.  

We have pinned lots of information for Christmas including plastic free decorations, eco gift wrapping and recipes for those Christmas leftovers.  

Pop over there by clicking on the button below and have a browse.


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Reducing waste at Christmas

Christmas tree

Christmas trees

It wouldn't seem like Christmas without a tree, but which is the best option for the environment - real or fake - based on their full life cycle from production to disposal?  

Potted Christmas trees are the best option for the environment.  They won't be thrown away after Christmas and, if you're green fingered, can be reused for next year.  In the meantime, it will continue to grow and take in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, creating a mini carbon sink.  The Royal Horticultural Society has this guide to help care for your potted and cut Christmas trees.  Survival rate of these trees isn't great as they do require care an attention.

Cut Christmas trees are the next best option because they aren't made of fossil fuels and whilst growing take in carbon dioxide, taking in a estimated 1 tonnes of carbon dioxide per acre.  Cut trees should then be recycled through the green kerbside bin where it will be composted in an invessel composter.  

If you already have a plastic Christmas tree, it is important that you keep on using it. It is the least environmentally friendly option as it is made from fossil fuels, giving a large carbon footprint for production and disposal. However, the fact that they don't decompose is also their strong point as they will last for years.  You will need to use the tree for between 12-15 years to account for its carbon footprint, but even longer would be better. 


For more information on the carbon footprint of Christmas tree click Read More.


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Cut down food waste

Brussels sprouts

It is estimated that we throw away over 7 million tonnes of food each year at Christmas. Much of this food could have been eaten as leftovers the next day.

Here are our tip top tips for avoiding food waste from planning through to using up leftovers.  (Link to Facebook Note)

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Plastic free gift wrapping

Gift wrapping

It is possible to give beautifully wrapped gifts that are still eco-friendly.  Avoiding plastics is a good place to start but also think about buying wrapping that can be either reused, such as a scarf, or recycled.  See our section on Recycling for a simple hack to work out which wrapping papers can be recycled and which can't.

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Reuse at Christmas

Preloved presents


Be kind to your purse, the environment and help out charities by gifting preloved items this Christmas.  Charity shops and our Reuse Shops are a treasure trove full of unusual items that will cost a fraction of their original price.  Go with a budget and an open mind.  You might even pick up a fabulous outfit for that Christmas party.  Read our top tips on how to shop in charities shops.


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Lovely Leftovers

Turkey leftovers

If you have watched the BBC's 'Meat: A Threat to Our Planet', you'll be aware that rearing meat is a resource intensive process, so it's really important that we make the most of it by eating our leftovers.  Making another meal out of leftover food makes sense - it requires less cooking, offers a second nutritious meal and wastes less food.  Plus it saves money at this expensive time of year.

Here are some turkey leftover recipes to give you some ideas, but remember to portion your food well first and then make the most of what isn't eaten the next day.  Or use your freezer to store for up to 6 months.


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Recycling at Christmas

Food waste and composting

Food recycling

Food that can't be eaten can be recycled rather than placed in the grey wheeled bin.  Turkey carcasses and vegetable peelings (although we recommend leaving them on to reduce waste and increase the nutrients in your meal) can all be recycled either at home, in a hot compost bin such as the Green Johanna, or through the green kerbside bin.  

Check with your local Council for any changes in collection over the Christmas period.

Compost bins are available to buy from Warwickshire County Council for a discounted price. 

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Christmas recycling

Wrapping paper

Not all wrapping paper is recyclable.  Although most are paper based, they can be coated in plastic, making it very difficult to separate out the paper for recycling.  

Try to buy wrapping paper that is 100% paper and glitter free.  Please check wrapping paper before recycling.  Father Christmas shows you how below. 


FC recycling wrapping paper



Most cards are paper based and can be recycled, along with their envelopes, either in your household recycling kerbside collection, at local recycling points such as household waste recycling centres or at collection banks in supermarket car parks and the like.

Any embellishments such as ribbons or glitter cannot be recycled so should be removed first by simply tearing off that section. Batteries should also be removed from musical cards and disposed of at battery recycling points.



Foil is one of the most important materials to recycle due to the environmental benefits it offers.  The good news is clean household foil and aluminium trays are widely recycled in household collection schemes, household waste recycling centres and at recycling points.  Collect any small pieces of foil in a tin can so they don't get lost.



According to Directgov, over 12,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided, if the UK can meet its recycling target of at least 45 per cent of batteries.  There are different types of batteries which can contain dangerous chemicals including: lead,cadmium, zinc, lithium and even mercury.  So, it's really important that they are disposed of correctly through recycling schemes and not placed in the the residual bin.  

Since battery recycling laws came into force in February 2010, most shops and supermarkets that sell batteries have collection bins in-store for used batteries.  You can also recycle them at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

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Changes to collection services

Winter bin

Collection services can change over the Christmas period, so please check with your local Council for more information. 

Tip:  If you have a digital home assistant, such as Alexa or Siri, ask them to remind you of the changes the day before they happen.

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