The presents have been opened, the crackers pulled and the champagne cork popped. But how will you be tackling the post-Christmas clean-up – by binning everything, or by recycling it?
It’s only one day of the year – but there always seems to a heck of a lot of clearing up to do after Christmas Day has been and gone in my household.
But rather than chuck it all in a bin bag and be done with it (which despite my pertaining to be a keen recycler, does sound tempting after the excess of the last few days), I’ll be making a conscious effort to recycle what I can of the season’s paraphernalia.
Which can be easier said than done. Most of us are on comfortable ground these days when it comes to recycling newspapers, cardboard, glass bottles and so on – though plastics can prove a bit more troublesome – but will your council collect more obscure items like wrapping paper, Christmas cards, decorations, used crackers, or even your Christmas tree?
Recycling all wrapped up?
Take wrapping paper as an example. And, I’m afraid, cue a few caveats. Some wrapping papers can be recycled, but that depends on:
a. Whether your council accepts wrapping paper as part of your doorstep collection or via your local recycling centre; this in itself will only apply if your council collects paper in the first place.
b. What materials have been used to make the paper.
Luxury wrapping paper, for example, often contains extra materials such as foil or glitter, making it more problematic – or simply not possible – to recycle.
Some wrapping paper is of too low a quality for it to be recycled, while other councils won’t take wrapping paper because swathes of it will have sticky tape still attached.
‘Contact your council’…
Recycle Now, the government-backed recycling awareness campaign, has some useful tips on what items can be recycled. Tinsel? No. Christmas tree lights? Yes.
But often the advice can’t go much further than ‘contact your local council’ because of the differences between local services – which over the holiday period isn’t particularly helpful.
This is where a simple leaflet through the door or sticker on the recycling box – or at least an update to the council website – can really help. I did manage to find some handy information via the latter (so it’s biscuit and sweet tins in the pink sack for me, apparently).
But as our recent investigation into recycling services highlighted, council approaches to communicating with residents about recycling services can vary widely. What’s your experience been – and have you managed to dispose of all of your seasonal extras yet?