Christmas bin collections

Bins due to be collected on Boxing Day, Monday 26 December 2022, will instead be collected on New Year's Eve, Saturday 31 December 2022.

All other collections remain the same during the festive period.

Please ensure bins are put out by 6.30am as collections may be earlier than usual over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Use the bin collection day search to find out when your bin will be collected.

Boxing Day (Monday 26 December) recycling and waste collections move to New Year's Eve (Saturday 31 December) this year (2022)

Recycling centres

All household waste and recycling centres are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. They will be open as usual throughout the rest of the festive period.

Read more about what can and cannot be recycled this Christmas.

Please remember to book a slot to visit your local household waste and recycling centre to dispose of items. If you turn up without booking you will not be allowed to enter the site.

Reduce your waste this Christmas

Christmas trees and wreaths

To dispose of a real tree or wreath made from natural plants, book a slot and take it to one of our household recycling centres where it will be composted with garden waste. Remove all decorations and glue or plastic parts from wreaths.

Handy tip - wrap your tree in an old bed sheet to stop the needles falling in your car. Keep hold of the sheet as you drop the tree into the garden waste container.

You can also recycle your real tree through the St Michael's Hospice Tree Collection Service.

Polystyrene packaging

Our recycling services cannot recycle polystyrene that protects new electrical items or the polystyrene chips often found in parcels. Please put polystyrene in your normal black bin or rubbish sack.

Handy tip - try to reuse polystyrene - it makes great drainage material for your flower pots.

Wrapping paper and cardboard boxes

In the UK, we bin around 300,000 tonnes of Christmas packaging every year.

Wrapping paper

  • Make sure you remove ribbons and bows from paper before recycling. Don't worry about removing the sticky tape
  • We can only recycle certain types of wrapping paper - paper that is bright white on the non-printed side - as well as brown wrapping paper
  • We cannot recycle metallic paper that cannot easily be ripped, as it often contains plastic

Handy tip - if the paper tears easily, we can recycle it.

Cardboard boxes

  • Please break up and put them inside your green recycling bin or clear sacks
  • Take very large boxes to a household recycling centre or break them down to the same size as your recycling bin, flatten and leave them next to your recycling bin on collection day

Christmas cards and crackers

  • Buy paper and card crackers or a pack to make your own - no plastic waste
  • Create Christmas decorations ready for next year
  • Cut out the picture on the front and turn into a gift card for next year
  • Recycle them - put them in your green recycling bin or sacks

Food

As the festive season gets into full swing, try something new with your leftovers. We've got some tips, tricks and inspiration to help you transform Christmas excess into money-saving, tasty meals.

  • Meal plan - think about the meals that your family enjoys most and make a meal plan for the week. Write down the ingredients you need for each meal on a list. Sticking to your list when you go shopping will also help you save money
  • Leftovers and ingredients - view today's leftovers as tomorrow's ingredients with a bit of creative thinking. A couple of sausages could be made into a pasta bake or toad in the hole, cooked vegetables can be made into bubble and squeak. For more recipe ideas, visit Love Food Hate Waste
  • Love your freezer - anything freezable (meat, fish and vegetables) can be frozen right up to the use-by date. Cook in bulk, then freeze your meals. By cooking once, eating twice, you'll make your money go much further. Don't forget to portion up meals before you freeze to make them quick and easy to defrost and heat up when you need something quick
  • Too many boxes of chocolates? Too many crackers? Any unopened food can be donated to your closest food bank

Batteries

At Christmas we can all be excited to receive that new gadget or toy. Often these will contain batteries, millions of which are thrown away incorrectly each year and can cause damage to people and the environment.

Don't bin your batteries - empty gift box with tablet, electric toothbrush, battery and electric razor

Reduce - Look for items that use alternatives to batteries, for example solar or wind up, use rechargeable batteries or can be plugged into the mains.

Recycle - Please do not put batteries or electrical items containing batteries into your bins. If crushed, batteries can cause fires in bin lorries or at our recycling sorting site.

Look out for battery recycling points in shops that sell them or ask a member of staff if they can recycle them.

Visit Take Charge to find out where you can recycle batteries.

Having a Christmas clear out?

Clearing out before or after Christmas to make space? Take a look at our reuse page for ideas on how you could make someone else's Christmas.