Keep it green with this Christmas recycling guide

More rubbish is generated over the Christmas and New Year holiday than any other time of the year – and residents can recycle most of it in their blue and brown bins.

Last year more than 9,000 tonnes of waste was collected from households over the festive period across the East Riding.

And thanks to the efforts of residents, more than half of that was recycled.

That meant thousands of rolls of wrapping paper, Christmas cards and biscuit tins could be recycled … into this year’s wrapping paper, Christmas cards and biscuit tins!

Now East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s waste and recycling officers are offering advice to residents to help them recycle even more this year.

Councillor Symon Fraser, the council’s portfolio holder for asset management, housing and environment, said:

“Christmas and New Year is a busy time for everyone, but we know residents will continue to support us by recycling as much of their rubbish as they can, from cards to Christmas trees.”

Into the blue bin
A great deal of the packaging, bottles and tins generated by the Christmas holiday can be recycled. Here’s a festive guide to what you can put in your blue bin:

• Plastic sweet tubs and biscuit tins
• Wrapping paper, Christmas cards and envelopes
• All cardboard boxes (remove any polystyrene or plastic packaging, flatten boxes)
• Cardboard advent calendars
• All empty glass and plastic bottles (squash plastic bottles, tops can be left on)
• Empty drinks cans and food tins
• Newspapers, magazines and books
• Plastic tubs and trays, empty juice cartons and egg boxes
• Tin foil and stock cube wrappers, as long as they are clean.

Any of the above waste which won’t fit in your blue bin can be put into bags and left next to your bin on collection day.

They can also be taken to household waste recycling sites. Remember to separate your waste before visiting the site.

Batteries, clothes, polystyrene and crisp packets
Please do not put batteries, clothes, textiles or polystyrene in your blue bin.

Batteries can be taken to collection points at many shops or to household waste recycling sites.
Clothing and textiles should be taken to clothing recycling banks, or donated to charity shops.
Polystyrene should be placed in your green bin, or taken to a household waste recycling site.
Crisp packets should be placed in the green bin.

Wrap up your food waste in the brown bin
Christmas always means lots of festive food… but it can also mean lots of waste food.

Family dinners and festive parties can generate a lot of leftovers which can end up being thrown in the bin.

One way to recycle food is to use your leftovers to create tasty new dishes, which also saves money too.
Some useful recipes can be found at

Another way is to place all food waste in your brown bins, as it can then be recycled into compost for the garden.

Last Christmas almost 1,700 tonnes of food and garden waste was collected in the East Riding for recycling.

Put your food waste into your free kitchen caddy liners, or wrap it in newspaper or kitchen roll, before putting it in your brown bin.

All food waste can be recycled in your brown bin, including: 

• Any cooked or uncooked food including all plate scrapings,
• Turkey, chicken and other bird carcasses and meat bones,
• Fruit and vegetable peelings,
• Cooked and uncooked meat,
• Egg shells.

Free kitchen caddy liners are available from all household waste and recycling sites, customer service centres, leisure centres and libraries in the East Riding.

Christmas bin collections

Residents in the East Riding will have received their 2017 bin collection calendars through the post, which will also show them this year’s Christmas and New Year collection dates.

Normal collections will resume on 16 January 2017.

Household waste recycling sites, and the Reuse Shop at the Humberfield site near North Ferriby, will be open from 10am-5pm each day as usual, but will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and will be closed all day on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Christmas trees
Real Christmas trees – with all lights and decorations removed – can be recycled by placing them next to your brown bin for collection in January.  Or they can be taken to a household waste recycling site.

Unwanted presents
If you receive a present you don’t want – don’t throw it away.

Instead you can take it along to any household waste recycling site and ask them to pass it on to The Reuse Shop.

The Reuse Shop is based at the Humberfield waste recycling site, near North Ferriby, and sells good quality items such as furniture and electrical goods which people no longer want and have taken to their household waste recycling site.

Or you could give the present to a charity shop or pass it on using websites like or

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