Dreaming of a Green Christmas? Tips & Advice on Festive Waste

Dreaming of a green Christmas? Residents are being given some simple tips by Oxfordshire County Council to help reduce the environmental impact of festive waste.

Christmas is a busy time for Oxfordshire’s bins – residents generate nearly 2,500 extra tonnes of waste over the festive period – that’s the same weight as 400 elephants… or around 25,000 reindeers!

From turkey to sprouts, Oxfordshire County Council encourages residents to put anything that can’t be eaten into their food caddy for recycling.

Bones, dairy products, vegetable peelings and all other cooked and uncooked food can be recycled; used to generate electricity for 9,000 homes and fertiliser for local farms.

Unwanted presents can also be given a new home through the county council’s Reuse scheme at all the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC). Oakley Wood, Crowmarsh is the nearest one to Henley.  Before placing reusable items into the skips, speak to a member of staff for advice.

Oxfordshire County Council’s top-tips, to help reduce waste and recycle more during the festive period, are part of its Thriving Communities initiative. They include:

  • Buying charity gifts or vouchers for events or experiences. They come without any packaging.
  • Buying your new outfit for a Christmas party from a charity shop, and returning it afterwards. This will save you money, you’ll be supporting a good cause, and avoid the need to throw away a garment you might never wear again.
  • Many shop-bought decorations come with lots of non-recyclable packing and will have travelled thousands of miles. Why not make your own? There are plenty of online tips for anyone who isn’t an arty-type.
  • Home-made cards and presents are much more personal, so keep the Christmas ribbons, paper and cards you receive this year and re-use them next year as gift tags, or make them into cards again.
  • Look out for Christmas trees that can be replanted, but if yours can’t, take it to any recycling centre so it can be composted or take it Mill Meadows on January 2019 10.00-12.30 to have it shredded for £2 donation to Henley in Bloom
  • Artificial Christmas trees that need a new home can be donated to a charity shop, or if no longer in good condition, can be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Centre.
  • If your recycling bin is struggling to cope with all the extra bottles, cardboard, plastic and paper, put any that can’t fit into the bin in a clear plastic sack or cardboard box. Place it next to your bin on collection day.

Don’t forget that your bin collection day might change due to the bank holidays. Check with your district council to make sure you don’t miss it!

The HWRCs will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Otherwise they will be open as normal from 8am-5pm.

Becky Kenton-Lake, from Oxfordshire County Council’s Waste Recycling team, said: “More and more people tell us they are planning to have a ‘greener’ Christmas this year, so we hope these tips will be useful and help to reduce the huge amount of extra waste generated during the festive period.Reducing how much we throw away and recycling food that can’t be eaten are some of the easiest things we can all do to help the environment.”

For further information about recycling over the festive period, visit the website www.oxfordshirerecycles.org.uk/christmas

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