Getting Back On Track: Recycling Your Christmas Decorations

Getting Back On Track: Recycling Your Christmas Decorations

6th Jan, 2017

Christmas is a time for overindulgence, fun, games and family. But like all of the best events, it does mean that you’re left with a lot of debris at the end of it. Skip hire is always a great idea for those things you just can’t fit in your regular bin – but before you do that, we at Skip Hire Network have some handy suggestions for you to dispose of your Christmas gear with the minimum amount of environmental damage.

Not Hard To Recycle Paper and Card

We all know we use a lot of wrapping paper at Christmas, but as a nation, we use 227,000 miles of it each year. Besides trying to use less of it in the first place, once Christmas is over it never hurts to stack any unused rolls away for use later on. It could even save you valuable hours in the Christmas rush come December. Meanwhile, any used wrapping paper from the big day itself can be gathered up and disposed of as normal in your paper and cardboard recycling bin.

This is also a handy way to dispose of your Christmas cards, just in case you have any stacked around the house. But there’s another option too – for the last few years, Marks and Spencer have been amongst the British retailers continuing a scheme initially set up by the Woodland Trust. Between the 2nd and the 31st of January, you can drop your cards into your local M&S store. For every 1000 cards recycled, they’ll plant a tree. Sainsbury’s are another major retailer running a similar scheme.

Light Up Someone Else’s Life

The UK throws away about 500 tonnes of Christmas lights each year – and some of them are in perfect working order. Instead of simply throwing your Christmas lights out once the festive season is over, if they still work you’ll probably find that there’s plenty of good homes for them. Charity shops are always on the lookout for good Christmas lights once the rush is over, or – looking closer to home – they could be used as mood lighting in your garden.

On the other hand, if they’re totally broken, simply take them to your local recycling centre. Depositing them in the Waste Electricals section will mean that they’re processed and separated into their component pieces: plastic, metal and glass, all of which can then be used to make other products elsewhere.

Seeing The Wood For The Trees

Last but not least, your tree is the biggest Christmas by-product, and also the one that’s most often improperly recycled. It’s hardly surprising, given its weight and bulk, but it doesn’t need to be – there are plenty of uses for Christmas trees. Most local councils in England have some manner of tree recycling programme, but if you can’t find one you can always use it for your own purposes. You can get it chipped in your local garden centre, and use it for ground cover or mulch in your garden. Frequently, the trunks of Christmas trees end up as January firewood; especially handy given the continuing cold. Just make sure not to burn the branches, as they tend to give off sparks!

On the other hand, Christmas trees have far less obvious uses – their pine needles are often edible (as long as it’s not a yew tree), meaning that they’re great for flavour infusions when cooking. Or, you can use them as a potpourri, put them in hot water for a still-festive but somewhat unique cup of tea.

Skip the Hard Work

However, even when you do all that, you’re still likely to end up with a lot of junk unsuitable for recycling. Christmas baubles are foremost amongst this, as the types of plastic and glass used in their construction is rarely recycled. Tinsel is another Christmas by-product that is, sadly, not recyclable.

In these instances, you might find that communal skip hire is a cost-effective way to dispose of your festive waste. Banding together with neighbours and hiring a skip between the lot of you enables you to pool all your Christmas waste, meaning fewer man-hours and effort for the local council in collecting it and more money in your own pockets.

Get Ahead of the Game

Of course, the easiest way to minimise your festive waste is simply to plan ahead. If you’ve got room to store wrapping paper, sellotape, tinsel and lights for another year, by all means do so – it might well mean less time traipsing round in the Christmas rush next year!

At Skip Hire Network, we’re all about making things easier for you. We not only save you time and money, but also make things easier for you in a whole heap of other ways. Check out our website to find out more, or simply enter your details to receive an instant quote!

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