Get wrapped up in festive recycling
Christmas is a great time for families to get together, but it can be a headache for councils when trying to handle all the extra waste and recycling. ANDREW JACKSON looks at what happens in Bucks
SAFELY wrapped up under many a Christmas tree in Bucks are a range of gizmos, from televisions and DVD players, to computers, electronic devices and other household items.
Most of these items will be replacing older, perfectly working items. The question is, what to do with that old television set?
Add to that the huge amount of extra waste and recycling being generated every Christmas with wrapping paper, packaging and old Christmas trees and the challenge faced by councils to keep on top of it all becomes clear.
Unwanted items that have been replaced by presents should be brought into your local Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) so they can find a new home, urges Buckinghamshire County Council.
These may then be sold in the South Bucks Hospice re-use shops at Aston Clinton and High Heavens, in Booker.
If you have any excess waste that will not fit into your recycling bin, the council is also encouraging people to bring their cardboard, batteries, glass bottles, textiles and electrical items into their nearest HWRC.
“There is a huge amount of waste thrown out around Christmas and New Year, so we are keen to ensure that we can recycle or re-use as much of it as possible,” said Lesley Clarke, council cabinet member for planning and environment.
“The more refuse we stop from ending up rotting away in landfill sites, the better it will be for our planet.
“I hope people have a great time this festive season, but also trust they will spare a thought for the environment and dispose of their waste sustainably.”
Wrapping paper will need to go into the general rubbish bin, as this is not currently recyclable – so householders are asked to try to re-use it wherever possible.
But waste officials are keen to stress that other paper and Christmas cards can be recycled.
The council says the average total Christmas
WASTE NOT WANT NOT: Christmas trees will need to be turned into compost after Christmas this year, although wrapping paper cannot yet be recycled food bill comes to £169 per household and, with the average family wasting a third of the food they buy, people are being encouraged to reduce the food they waste and save money.
Those who want to save money should plan their meals, only buy what they need and make the most of their freezer, says Mrs Clarke.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that every Christmas tree bought in the UK this year put end to end would be the equivalent of the distance to New York and back.
The council is urging Christmas revellers to place trees into the garden waste bins or take it to the local HWRC, where it can be turned into compost for local farmers.
Mrs Clarke added: “We are very proud of the fact that, as a county, we now recycle more waste than we throw away. This year, our recycling rate increased to 54 per cent, which is fantastic, but we need to do even better and I hope everyone includes recycling and increased re-use of unwanted items among their New Year’s resolutions.”
For more ideas on reducing your waste or about your local HWRC, visit www.recyclefor buckinghamshire.co.uk and www.buckscc.gov.uk/ hwrc.
For more information on how to make the most of your food, visit http:// england.lovefood hatewaste.com/.
Take your unwanted items to your local recycling centre. These may be sold by South Bucks Hospice to help raise money for the charity.
Want to find the ideal affordable present? Why not visit one of the HWRC re-use shops run by South Bucks Hospice at Aston Clinton or High Heavens in Booker.
The 10 Household Waste Recycling Centres in Buckinghamshire can easily take all that excess waste that won’t fit or can’t go into your recycling bin. So take all your cardboard, paper, glass bottles, textiles and batteries to your local HWRC in one easy trip. These can be found at www.buckscc.gov.uk/hwrc.
15 million cups of roast turkey fat are thrown down the drain on Christmas day, enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool. Why not collect your vegetable oil and cooking fats and bring them into your local recycling centre to be recycled?
Every year, 226,800 miles of wrapping paper is wasted, which is enough to stretch around the world nine times – please re-use as much as possible, as this can’t be recycled.
One billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year, so make sure yours are recycled.
The average family wastes one third of the food they buy for Christmas. Save money this Christmas by reducing the amount you throw away and visiting http://england. lovefoodhatewaste.com/
Plan your meals, only buy what you need and make the most of your freezer.
Put Christmas trees into garden waste bins or take it to the local HWRC. Remove any tinsel and decorations first!
To see how to reduce your waste and recycle more visit www.recycleforbuckinghamshire.co.uk