Christmas recycling - Top Tips

Christmas recycling - Top Tips

With Christmas fast approaching and households generating an average of 25% more waste over the period, it's a critical time of the year to think about recycling. Cards, gift wrapping (if not foiled), party decoration, food waste and green waste such as Christmas trees and wreaths are all generally recyclable. When properly segregated for recycling, we are able to recover a greater percentage of this waste back into useful products or sources of energy, supporting a sustainable society and contributing to a circular economy. We know it’s near impossible to completely cut waste out of your Christmas routine, so doing your best to reduce, re-use and recycle it is the next best thing. Wishing all our customers, suppliers, employees and local communities an enjoyable and sustainable Christmas. And remember, as you recover, so will we! 

Our top tips for Christmas recycling;

In Scotland alone 19,000 miles of wrapping paper will be used this Christmas – enough to wrap the coast of mainland Scotland more than two and a half times! 

Wrapping paper and its cardboard tube inner can generally be recycled. Only non-foil wrapping paper can be accepted for recycling however – to test, scrunch up the paper, if it doesn’t spring back it can be recycled. When buying, try to avoid foil or sparkly paper and choose to re-use gift bags. Delivery boxes, packaging and instruction leaflets can all be recycled, as can plastic packaging when disposed of in the correct recycling bin. Flat pack boxes to maximise bin storage space and remove any plastic, polystyrene and excess sticky tape.

Enva recycles and recovers a huge amount of paper and card.

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The wood from Christmas trees can be recycled and turned into chippings for landscaping - remove decorations, tinsel and pots. Glass baubles are not recyclable and should be disposed of in general waste. Artificial trees cannot be recycled but they can be reused year after year.

Enva accepts green waste from landscapers, business and local authorities, for recycling into compost materials. Contact your local authority for Christmas tree drop-off points and special collections in your area to ensure materials are recovered as green waste. We recycle green and food waste to produce a nutritious soil conditioner and high-grade compost which supports sustainable, healthy and vibrant landscapes.

Natural materials on wreaths, such as ivy, fir cones, mistletoe and holly, can be composted also. Please add these to the green waste collection bins.

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A staggering amount of food waste is generated all year round and especially at Christmas. 

Even if you make the most of your leftovers by creating other recipes and meals, food waste is inevitable. From peelings and bones to egg shells and tea bags. We should all aim to cut down on the food waste we produce, but for the waste that inevitably remains, it should be segregated into food caddy’s for composting as part of food preparations. In the rush and buzz of getting the Christmas dinner ready, please remember to clean and segregate packaging waste so that it too can be recovered for reuse.

Read more about our food waste compost process

As Christmas is a time when electronic items are given as gifts or replaced, please choose to responsibly dispose of your old ones. If in good working order, consider donating to charity or reselling, or if broken, contact your local authority for recycling options. This may include WEEE (waste electronic and electrical equipment) – any item with a plug such as fairy lights, electronic toys or batteries.

Batteries should never be placed in general waste or recycling bins; classed as ‘hazardous’ they pose a fire safety risk due to their flammable nature. Look out for battery recycling points in and around your local area. Where possible, choose rechargeable batteries for those Christmas toys.

Enva offer a WEEE recycling and collection for businesses. Small domestic WEEE is processed and recycled into plastic compounds, contact us for further details.

Read more about our WEEE plastic recycling

Many of us enjoy a drink or two over the festive period, and why not! Whether it's a glass bottle, can, plastic bottle or carton, most of the waste packaging you generate is recyclable. 

Glass, in particular, is the ultimate sustainable packaging format. It can be infinitely recycled without any loss to its integrity or quality yet disposing of glass for landfill still happens. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes are wasted from bars, restaurants and households that could have been recycled into new bottles and jars, saving precious raw materials. Please make an effort to segregate and rinse glass materials and use local glass recycling collection facilities.

Read more about how Enva recycles and recovers waste glass

Although e-cards are becoming a sustainable favourite, printed Christmas cards still remain popular. When choosing your cards it makes environmental sense to choose FSC sourced cards and to ensure the cards (and their envelopes) are recycled at the end of the season. Look out for specialist card recycling points in your local area. To maximise recycling, remove ribbons and glitter from the card. By choosing to recycle recovery value is maximised. 

Enva recovers a huge amount of paper and card every year which often goes on to make new cards for next year! 

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Enva will be working hard throughout the Christmas break to recover materials from the waste you generate, turning as much of it as possible into new products or even sources of energy. Please remember to segregate waste into the relevant collection bins and minimise contamination to ensure maximum recovery of these materials. Items like dirty paper plates, napkins, soiled table cloths, glittery decorations, foils and ribbons aren’t widely accepted as recyclables and should be kept separate from recyclable materials.

If you find that you’ve got more recyclable waste than you can store, local councils will have information on additional waste collections or drop off options. If you have a large amount of waste to dispose of, why not consider hiring a skip from Enva! 

...recycling doesn't stop. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to think more about the the products you buy and the waste you generate to improve the environment in which you live and contribute in a small way to saving the planet. 

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ -  you may choose to donate unwanted gifts, decorations and artificial trees you know you won't use again to extend their useful life whilst supporting a good cause.

Practical day-to-day decisions to reduce waste really do make a difference. Simple decisions like remembering to take re-usable shopping bags and swapping disposable cups for reusable mugs when picking up a coffee. Small changes that can make a big difference if we all do them. At Enva we are committed to recycling and resource recovery all year round; it forms the basis of our business strategy and our values.

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If you’d like to know more about local recycling options in your area, Recycle Now has a useful post code checker, link here: Recycle Now Recycling Locator Postcode Checker 

For further information on Enva's recycling services and the products we make from recovered waste materials products and services please contact us.