Find out how to reduce waste this Christmas
Tips and advice for Gloucestershire residents
We all know Christmas can be a busy time. There's so much going on that often recycling and the reason it's so important can fall to the very bottom of the priority list. Yet with so much extra waste at this time of year, Christmas is actually the ideal time to recycle everything you can.
- Help reduce food waste by writing shopping lists and buying only what you need. Think ahead about how many portions you will need and buy and cook accordingly.
- If you do have leftovers make sure you have enough containers, foil, wrap and bags to refrigerate or freeze them for later.
- Last year the equivalent of 4.2 million Christmas dinners were thrown away. This is a shocking amount of waste. If you are not sure what foods are suitable to be frozen, visit Love Food Hate Waste for useful tips and advice about how to store your food safely. The Food Standards Agency also has easy to follow information.
- Make sure you're familiar with the everyday labelling used on the foods we buy to reduce waste and save you money. 'Use by' dates are about safety. Foods can be eater (or frozen) up until the 'Use by' date, but not after. 'Best Before' dates are about quality. Food will be safe to eat after this date but not be at its best.
- Unsure about what to do with your leftovers? Christmas Pudding Truffles, Cranberry and Turkey Pasties and Stilton, Ham and Brussel Sprout Tart are just some of the seasonal recipes available on the national Love Food Hate Waste website. Why not check out the site for loads more tasty tips!
Waste Electrical and Electronic Appliances
Many of us will be expecting a new electrical or electronic device for Christmas. If you have old items which are beyond repair please ensure that these are recycled at the local Household Recycling Centre. Residents living in the Forest of Dean can also use their kerbside service to recycle small electrical items (collected on the same week as the refuse collection).
Waste electricals is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK but items such as these pose significant environmental problems if sent to landfill. Most gadgets contain small amounts of precious metals, of which there is a finite supply, so it is important that these are recovered. Some items may also contain hazardous substances such as lead and arsenic and while the use of mercury has declined in recent years, this can still be found in circuit boards and older electrical items. Heavy metals are especially harmful to human health and if not properly managed will persist in the environment with a risk of eventually reaching the food chain.
While appliances such as kettles, toasters, laptops and washing machines are instantly recognisable as electrical items, there are some items that are harder to spot. Many children's toys for instance (including some cuddly toys) will have a non-replaceable internal battery so remember that these count as waste electronic items.
So if your item has a plug, uses batteries (whether these can be replaced or not), needs to be charged or has a symbol of a crossed through wheeled bin it can be recycled.
Every Household Recycling Centre in Gloucestershire has a dedicated bank for small appliances and a designated area where larger items, such as white goods, can be dropped off for recycling.
'Real' Christmas trees are 100% recyclable. Trees can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre and many local councils in Gloucestershire collect them as part of their garden waste kerbside service or offer collection points where trees can be taken.
Kerbside Collections during Christmas and the New Year 2016/17
Some residents may see some changes to their waste and recycling collections during the festive period. To see how your collections are affected please see the guidance given below:
- Cheltenham Borough Council Christmas 2016/17
- Cotswold District Council Christmas 2016/17
- Forest of Dean District Council Christmas 2016/17
- Gloucester City Council - TBA
- Stroud District Council - TBA
- Tewkesbury Borough Council Christmas 2016/17