Christmas Waste Reduction

Christmas Rubbish

Over the Christmas period a shocking 30% more rubbish is produced in the UK. Although Christmas is a busy time for us all,  let's try to think about what we are throwing away this year and try to limit the impact we have on the environment.

Extra Rubbish at Christmas

We can avoid a lot of food waste by following some simple tips - please look at our Food Waste pages or visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.

If you find you have extra rubbish that will not fit in your bin it can be taken down to the Household Waste Sites at Burgess Hill or East Grinstead for no charge.

Please remember that we cannot collect any side waste (waste not contained within the bin) left with rubbish bins.

Extra Recycling at Christmas

A lot of Christmas waste is recyclable, for example - wrapping paper, plastic bottles, plastic cream and ice cream tubs, glass drinks bottles, glass pickle jars and so on. If you find you have extra recycling that will not fit in your bin, please leave it beside your bin either in a cardboard box that can be recycled or a box that can be easily emptied. But please don't let it get wet as we cannot recycle paper which is wet.

  • Please note that we cannot recycle foil type wrapping paper - try the scrunch test - if it looks like foil, scrunch it in your hand, if it stays scrunched it's tin foil and we can recycle it, if it doesn't stay scrunched we can't take it.
  • Please do not leave recycling a plastic carrier bag, as we will not be able to accept it.
  • Recycling in your bin needs to be loose (not in plastic bags), clean and dry with no left over food.
  • No plastic wrappers please. For example - cling film, plastic bags, crisp packets, bubble wrap, biscuit wrappers, polythene.

Wet Recycling

Please note we will not be able to collect cardboard / paper which has been left beside your recycling bin if it has got wet.

Please try to put extra out only if it is a dry day. If your recycling is wet, the paper and cardboard will become soggy and will not be able to be recycled. During the process at the sorting facility wet paper and cardboard will stick to the  machinery and can clog up the system. Glass will also stick to the wet paper and cardboard meaning that neither can be recycled.

Food Waste at Christmas

By reducing our food waste we can save money and reduce our impact on the environment too. Please think carefully about the food you buy over the festive season.

  • When you are planning your party / festive meals try to be realistic about how much you need, all too often we buy an excessive amount as we want to be sure we have enough. If you think you have enough and then you see something else that tempts you, re-assess - just how much do you need?
  • Work out your menu and stick to it. Get your portions right e.g. a mug of rice will serve 4 adults when cooked.
  • Does the food you have chosen have a long shelf life / can it be frozen if it doesn't get used?
  • Are you really going to eat 36 mince pies before they go off?
  • Can you put some of those nibbles in the freezer and just get them out of you need them?
  • If that cheese will not all be eaten, grate some and pop it in the freezer, you can use in the New Year to make sandwiches or a quiche for example.
  • Plan some meals around anticipated left over food e.g. make a stir-fry on Boxing Day with remaining meat, and soup the following day.

West Sussex County Council offer compost bins and food digesters at subsided prices to help you dispose of unavoidable food waste in an environmentally friendly manner. For details visit Get Composting

For further tips and advice please visit Love Food Hate Waste

Ideas for a more environmentally friendly Christmas.

Recycled Christmas Tree Decorations

Have a green Christmas and decorate your tree with recycled decorations. Fun to make, and effective too - take a look at our ideas.

Lots of ideas and tips for making decorations and reducing waste over the festive period

Christmas shopping

  • Avoid excess packaging and choose items packaged in materials which can be recycled
  • Buy foodstuffs in large containers rather than lots of small ones
  • Say no to carrier bags.  Don't accept a bag that you don't need.
  • Buy recycled products.  This is just as important as actually recycling.
  • Avoid presents with disposable parts.
  •  Buy rechargeable batteries.

Present ideas

  • How about gifts made from recycled materials? 
  • Sponsorship of an animal lasts a whole year and creates no extra waste - contact an animal welfare group
  • Make your own gifts (to avoid all that unnecessary packaging)
  • Buy alternative gifts  - support some of the worlds poorest communities by buying anything from a warm blanket to a fruit tree to a herd of sheep!  Search the internet for charities that provide this type of service.
  • Buy gifts that promote the protection of the environment, for example, nesting boxes for wildlife; plants for the garden, something fair trade or organic.

Wrapping and decorating

  • Choose re-useable decorations which can be used again or make decorations from scrap materials - it will also keep the little ones occupied!
  • Buy a Christmas tree with roots, and plant it in the garden for next year
  • Use last years cards to make this year's gift tags
  • Buy recycled wrapping paper and use string rather than sticky tape.  Then re-use it next year.

What's happening in recycling across West Sussex - Recycle for West Sussex