Tips on how to recycle Christmas waste

December 23, 2021

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has issued a reminder to residents about the best ways to recycle Christmas waste.

The Christmas and New Year period is the busiest time of year for waste collection in the East Riding with  more waste including cardboard boxes, wrapping, bottles and leftover food being generate at this time of year.

Much of the waste produced during the festive season can be recycled in household bins and the council says residents in our region are some of the best recyclers in the country.

Residents are being encouraged to keep up their good recycling work and the council have issued some festive advice to help residents recycle even more during the holiday period.

Festive recycling tips:

Leave recycling loose

One of the teams top tips is to leave recycling loose in your blue bins – and never pack it into bags.

Leaving items loose in the blue bin can make sorting the waste much quicker and more efficient for the recycling plant.

Residents can also fit more inside their blue bins if they don’t use plastic bags – and there’s no need to buy them especially.

Black bags are classed as contamination because they can’t always be split open or the waste inside separated, and they can also damage some sorting machines.

They can lead to more loads being rejected by the recycling plant.

Councillor Chris Matthews, the council’s portfolio holder for environment and climate change, said: “The quality of recyclable materials placed in blue bins is more important than ever.

“The cost of waste disposal is increasing year on year, but we can offset that by ensuring our recycling is high quality and only the right things are being included in the blue bin.

“Now we really need residents to help us by keeping their recycling clean, dry and loose, in order to reduce contamination.”


Check bin collection shedule

The council is also reminding people to check their bin collection dates as these will change over the Christmas and New Year period with normal collections will restart from Monday 10 January.

It usually means bins will be collected a day or two after normal collection days over the two-week period – but it’s always best to check the bin collection calendars which were sent out in the post over the summer.


Household recycling sites

Household waste recycling sites will be open from 10am to 5pm each day, but they will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and will also be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Residents are reminded to take along your residents’ pass or alternative proof of address when visiting a site to ensure access.


Know where to recycle your festive rubbish

For resident who have invested in a real Christmas tree this year, these can be recycled by placing them next to your brown bin on collection days in January, or they can be taken to household waste recycling sites, but don’t forget to remove all lights and decorations for recycling.

Broken Christmas lights and other unwanted electrical items can be taken to the small electricals section at household waste recycling sites.

Batteries can not be place in household bins and can be dangerous if not disposed of carefully.

Instead please take them to supermarkets and local shops which have battery recycling collection boxes or to any household waste recycling site.

Unwanted Christmas gifts can be donated to charity shops or taken to household waste recycling sites to donate them to the Reuse Shop for Dove House Hospice.


Know what to put in your household bins

Green bins:

Crisp packets and polystyrene cannot be recycled, so please place these in your green bin.

Clothing, shoes and textiles cannot go in your bins, so please take these to local clothing recycling banks or to charity shops.


Blue bins: 

Christmas cards, envelopes, wrapping paper, cardboard and cardboard boxes, plastic tubs and trays, all glass and plastic bottles and jars, cans, tins, aerosols, tin foil, foil trays, books, newspapers, magazines, juice cartons, egg boxes.

Please make sure they are all empty, clean and put them loose in the blue bin.


Brown bins: 

Can be used to recycle all cooked and uncooked food waste, including plate scrapings, peelings, meat, turkey and other bird carcasses, meat bones, egg shells, tea bags and small amounts of sauces, creams and soups. Any garden waste can also go in the brown bin.

Free kitchen caddy liners to put your food inside are available at household waste recycling sites, customer service centres, libraries, mobile libraries and leisure centres.


For more information on what items go in which bin visit council’s website at or download the East Riding of Yorkshire Council app to your phone.


East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s waste and recycling officers, Chris Black, Emma Jasper and Karen Wagg, have some Christmas advice for residents to help them safely dispose of festive rubbish. (16-12-64 SU)

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