At this festive time of year everyone is busy with Christmas preparations, whether that is catering for the family, sending cards or buying and wrapping presents.
With household waste costing councils in Hampshire around £100 million each year to collect and dispose of, Hampshire County Council is reminding residents that they can help to minimise waste and increase recycling.
The County Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability, Councillor Jan Warwick, said: “Christmas can be a busy time for people, but it is also an opportunity to reduce waste, save money and be kind to the environment. We can have an equally good time whilst taking simple steps to reduce wasted food and packaging by planning ahead as we shop. We’re asking people to remember that many items bought over the holiday period can be recycled, such as empty biscuit tins and plain brown wrapping paper. However, Christmas wrapping paper cannot be recycled as it often contains non-recyclable plastics, has sticky tape stuck to it or has foil or glitter on it. We can also do our bit to waste less and lessen our household budgets if we plan meals and use up leftovers rather than buy too much food only to end up throwing some of it away.
“Many more people are shopping online, so if people end up with extra packaging and their own recycling bin is full, it’s worth remembering that lots of items can be taken to the nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC). Please take empty glass bottles to local bottle banks or use the kerbside glass collection service where this is available.”
Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living initiative has some great tips to reduce Christmas waste and save money.
• Using second-hand fabric, such as scarves, tea towels or other textiles to make reusable wrapping paper. Not only does it make a great present in its own right, but you can tie it in place with ribbon or string so that every element can be used again!
• Buying Christmas presents from local businesses this year will help to support our local economy – there are zero waste shops all over Hampshire where you can pick up presents with less waste. Many local businesses offer delivery options too: #StayLoyalStayLocal
• Having a glitter free Christmas. Glitter is a microplastic which is harmful to the environment and can get into the food chain. Think about upcycling materials to make glitter free Christmas decorations or cards #ZeroWasteChristmas
• Recycling items such as metal biscuit and sweet tins, flattened cardboard delivery and toy boxes, plain cards and envelopes can all be deposited in your kerbside collection.
However, foil, and moulded plastic packaging, such as toy packaging, cannot currently be recycled. For more information on what can and can’t be recycled visit the County Councils’ waste and recycling web pages.
Local Household Waste Recycling Centres are open seven days a week except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – remember to book your slot before you go – https://www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/recyclingcentres/book-appointment
‘Real’ trees are recyclable and will be composted or can be shredded into chippings for use in parks or woodland areas, if taken to the local HWRC. Local councils often arrange drop-off points or special collections of ‘real’ trees in early January and advertise the dates this will take place with any other changes to collections over the Christmas period on their websites. Alternatively, consider placing your real tree in decorative pot and tending to it over the year to use again next Christmas!
People can also find information on: https://www.gov.uk/rubbish-collection-day