What Can and Can’t You Recycle at Christmas?

What Can and Can’t You Recycle at Christmas?

What Can and Can’t You Recycle at Christmas?

It’s well and truly the season of excess, with mince pies all round and enough wrapping paper to cover a small island. But for those who are determined to recycle and enjoy a ‘green’ Christmas as opposed to a white one, there are a lot of rules and regulations to abide by. Can you recycle plastic Christmas trees? Which bin do the Christmas cards with foil parts go into? Where do all of my Quality Street wrappers go?

At Enviro Waste, we like to make recycling as simple as possible – so we’ve put together a guide to what you can and can’t recycle this Christmas:

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are one of the most widely recycled items around the festive season, and rightly so. They’re largely made from paper and can be dumped en masse in your paper recycling bin without worrying. That is, unless they have foil or glitter on them. If you’ve got a fancy card with a foil section or a glittery area, it’s best to throw it in the landfill bin – it can’t be recycled in the usual way and turned into useful paper.

Wrapping Paper

The scourge of environmentalists! Wrapping paper is a nightmare for Christmas recycling, but as long as it’s recycled properly, the damage to the environment can be offset. Make sure that, when you discard your wrapping paper, you remove all ribbons and bows, which are often made out of plastic compounds and other synthetic materials.


Your Christmas tree, if it’s real, should be cut up into small pieces (if possible) and put carefully into your garden waste bin. If you have no equipment to chop up the tree, your local council will have information on how to recycle it – some even offer a collection service. Wreaths, mistletoe and holly can also be put in the garden waste bin, but make sure all plastic decorations have been removed first. Plastic Christmas trees can be put up into the attic, to be used again and again!


Believe it or not, electronics are one of the most widely recycled items at Christmas – purely because many people get upgrades as a gift from loved ones. Many online businesses offer gadget recycling services, but if your device doesn’t quality for one of these, be sure to follow electronic disposal guidelines when getting rid of it – don’t just dump it into a bin!


From leftover turkey to unwanted sprouts, anything goes when tipping food into your food recycling bin. Just make sure that there are no residual bits of foil or wrapping, especially when disposing of the coffee cream chocolates that nobody likes! Many people buy in party plates and cups over Christmas to save on the washing up – make sure these are as clean as possible, and add them to the paper recycling bin.

For more tips on recycling and waste management over Christmas, feel free to browse our recent Christmas articles for information about business waste removal. We also offer domestic house clearance and London rubbish clearance services to help make Christmas a little less stressful for everyone. Easy peasy! Until next time – a very Merry Christmas to you all!