Recycling in Southend

Christmas Recycling Tips

The festive season results in an estimated 3 million tonnes of waste, and in the UK we’ll buy some 10 million turkeys, take home around 370 million mince pies and 25 million Christmas puddings.

The UK is estimated to use almost 300,000 tonnes of card packaging at Christmas, according to leading recycling campaign Recycle Now – a staggering amount which, when laid out, would cover the return distance between London and Lapland  103 times – and would wrap Big Ben almost 260,000 times!

Wrapping paper plays such a huge role in creating the excitement on Christmas morning. This year Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Recycle Now are asking all of us to help extend its usefulness by recycling it, so it can be turned back into packaging which can be used throughout the year. All paper, including wrapping paper, is recyclable in the blue paper and card box - the only exceptions are the shiny metallic and glitter varieties.  If in doubt, test it out with the ‘scrunch test’ - if you literally scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can be put into the box.

Here's how to turn Christmas into a recycling opportunity!

  1. Send Christmas e-cards.
  2. Turn this year’s Christmas cards into gift tags for next year.
  3. Recycle any cards which can’t be reused in your blue paper and card box.
  4. Use re-usable gift bags or boxes instead of wrapping paper.
  5. Buy unpackaged fruit and vegetables.
  6. Home compost your fruit and vegetable peelings. For further information visit our composting pages.
  7. The average grocery bill for Christmas is £169. Planning for Christmas helps everyone save time and money. Use the Love Food Hate Waste on-line portion planner whether you’re cooking for family or a party – visit  the Love Food Hate Waste website for further information.
  8. Use up leftovers and freeze food that can’t be eaten.
  9. Recycle any unavoidable food waste. For further information regarding the food waste scheme click visit our Blue Food Waste pages.
  10. Buy re-usable artificial trees or a potted real Christmas tree that can be reused.
  11. Recycle your real Christmas tree by presenting it for collection between the 7 January and 19 January alongside your other recycling at the edge of your property on your usual collection day. Please remove all decorations and tinsel. Alternatively Christmas trees can also be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centres.
  12. Send gift tokens to help reduce waste and allow recipients to choose their ideal gift. Don’t forget to include a gift receipt.
  13. Buy rechargeable batteries, and recycle used household batteries at the Household Waste Recycling Centres or at a range of retailers. For further information regarding the types of batteries which can be recycled and where please visit the Bring Back Heavy Metals website.
  14. Recycle small electrical items, such as fairy lights, Christmas tree lights, hairdryers, electric shavers, etc. using the small electrical items service – simply place the items in a plastic shopping carrier bag and place them next to your other recycling on collection day.
  15. Recycle any paper and card using your blue paper and card box. Please see our further page below for any ‘unusual Christmas Suspects’ you might be unsure about.
  16. Use your pink recycling sack for all your household plastic packaging, food and drink cans, and glass bottles and jars. Visit our Kerbside Collection pages for further information regarding the recycling schemes and collection dates. Please see our further page below for any ‘unusual Christmas Suspects’ you might be unsure about.
  17. Don't forget the recycling facilities that are available at the Household Waste Recycling Centres (Stock Road and Leigh Marshes).

Page last updated: 30/04/2019