Recycling at Christmas

If you want to take a cynical approach to the festive season then you might say the Christmas is a giant celebration of retail where we spend huge amounts of money buying presents for loved ones (and a few we might prefer not to).   The thing about presents however is they tend to come in Boxes.  Or tins.  Or bottles.  Actually many things and they’re often wrapped, with bows and such things to make them even prettier. 

Sadly once torn apart the wrapping of presents is only so much rubbish.  And sometimes, the contents of the present aren’t that much better either.  With that in mind here’s a few short ideas of what to do when recycling presents and their packaging at Christmas. 

Cardboard, Glass, Tins and Plastic

Generally all of these can be recycled provided your local authority runs some form of recycling programme.  In some places it’s even possible to get money taking back old cans and bottles though this practice seems to have died out in recent years. Either way, in any developed society there’s little reason to send these items to land fill.

Present Wrapping

Wrapping paper varies greatly in whether or not it can be recycled.  Plainer varieties are generally accepted without issue.    However many people enjoy using paper with glossed or lamented covers.  Or perhaps they want to use metallic reflecting gold or silver paper to wrap their presents in.  These sorts of papers are typically not accepted for recycling. 

It doesn’t help that the paper often has few fibres that are suitable for recycling due to its thin nature.   Given that the attached bows, ribbons and sticking tape can not be recycled either and it’s generally best to make sure that your local council or other authority accepts wrapping paper before throwing it in with the rest of the recycling. 

Too Many Leftovers

If you successfully manage to get away with not having to eat the Brussel Sprouts this year, you will need somewhere to dispose of them and any other leftovers that have survived the season.   One option of-course is to throw them into food recycling.  But you might want to consider using the organic material for compost yourself if you are planning to grow things this year.

Batteries Included

If your gifts needed batteries and these then ran out its important not to throw them out in the rubbish with the rest of your landfill. Batteries contain chemicals that can be toxic if permitted to break out which is why they must be disposed of properly.  In the UK, some councils and authorities do permit them in the regular recycling, but throughout most of the country, you will need to take them to a recycling point. 

Unwanted Gifts

Presuming that your benefactor did not give you a gift receipt for your present there are several ways you might consider getting rid of them.  The most obvious might be to sell them on E-bay or some other selling site. 

However if you’re feeling more generous, giving them to friends or family might be better.  Alternatively charitable groups are always looking for more items.  Finally organizations like Freecycle exist that can help you find people who could use your unwanted gifts.    

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