Reduce Reuse Recycle this Christmas

In News by Bembridge PC

Christmas is almost here closer and we’ve got some handy advice to help you buy sustainably and reduce/recycle more over the festive period.

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Cabinet lead on environment waste and heritage, said: “We would like to thank Island residents for all their hard work this year in helping us achieve and maintain a 55.7 per cent recycling rate on the Island and for continuing to support the recycling and waste service.

“We know that everyone is busy at Christmas time but we’re asking that we all do our bit for climate change and the environment by shopping local and trying to reduce packaging where possible when choosing our gifts and food.”

The UK Waste sector is responsible for 25 mega tonnes of CO2, equivalent to powering 7 million homes per year. (Lets Recycle figures).

Here’s some handy tips on making small differences to make for a more sustainable Christmas.


  • Using recyclable wrapping paper will help. Any wrapping paper that is made of foil or has glitter on is not recyclable.
  • Use non-glittery ribbon and non-glittery Christmas cards as these can also be recycled.
  • Get the children involved and re-use old or unwanted Christmas cards by making gift tags out of them.
  • If you want a real Christmas tree – try buying a small potted one that you can grow and bring inside for the Christmas period each year.
  • Making sure the right things are put in the right bin will also reduce unnecessary waste. Most typical items used over Christmas are recyclable, such as cake and biscuit tins, bottles, and jars. Paper and card should always be recycled, unless they have glitter on them – in which case they go in your black waste.
  • Excess cardboard packaging can be bundled together and left to the side of your recycling bin or blue gull sack on your recycling week.
  • Switch to LED Christmas lights and decorations – LEDs use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional twinkling incandescent lights.
  • Set your heating on timed periods at 21c instead of on constant at a low temperature. This is more cost effective.


  • Love Food Hate Waste has great recipes for reusing leftover Christmas food, including turkey tikka curry, mince pie ice cream and cheeseboard macaroni. They also have some great tips on shopping savvy and only buying what you need.
  • Any Food leftovers that can’t be reused for another meal can be placed in food caddies and placed out for collection each week. All food that is collected in caddies is sent to a specialist plant where it is used to generate electricity and nutrient-rich farmland fertiliser. If you do not have a food caddy or want to replace a broken one or need a second one, you can order online for free at or by calling 01983 823777.
  • Consider using rechargeable batteries for Christmas decorations, toys or everyday items. If you do need to dispose of old household batteries, these must never be put in your waste or recycling bins as they are a fire hazard. Most shops that sell household batteries have a takeback scheme in place so dispose of them safely there.
  • Think before you throw – could others could benefit from your old items like furniture, appliances or clothes? Charity shops accept donations of useable items or you can use the council’s free reuse service for larger items. To book a free reuse collection please visit (All sofas or chairs must have fire safety certificates intact).
  • You can also offer your items for sale online using the many free re-sale sites including on social media, or offer them for free online including social media.
  • You can donate any unwanted toys/ bicycles at Lynnbottom or Afton Marsh HWRC’ for re-use.
  • Clean foil and trays can be reused or recycled.


  • Excess recycling that won’t fit in your green bin or blue gull proof sack can be placed in clear or white sacks to the side of your containers on your recycling day.
  • A detailed guide on what items should go in what bin can be found on the council’s website at, while a guide can also be found in your annual household waste services booklet sent to all properties earlier this year in the centre pages.
  • If you can’t live without sparkle this Christmas, try looking for plant-based, vegan glitter, like that from Eco Glitter Fun. There are many other makes available online.
  • Households that often produce lots of excess recycling can order a second green bin for their recyclable items. There is no charge for a second green bin, and orders can be made by visiting or calling 01983 823777.
  • A lot of families will also be buying new clothes over Christmas including in the sales. Old, unwanted clothes can be donated to charity shops, placed into charity collection bins, or you can take advantage of the council’s textiles collection scheme.

To do this, place clothes in a clear or white sack and leave them to the side of your green recycling bin or green gull sack on your recycling collection day only. These will be collected by your crew and are sent away for reuse. Any clothing that can’t be reused is often shredded and made into new materials, such as for mattress or pet bedding filling.

Further details about all waste and recycling services can be found online at