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Reduce, Reuse, Recycling and composting

Christmas 2017 Useful Information


This Christmas there will be some changes to waste and recycling collection dates with some collections being made earlier and some later than usual. Please make sure that you check your collection calendar or Council website for your individual collection dates.

Extra recycling

If you have extra recycling that won’t fit in your boxes, bags or bins you should put each kind of material separate in a clear bag, so a bag of paper, a bag of cans etc, or pop it in a plastic box and we will take the extra recycling away.

Pizza boxes

Things like pizza boxes and greasy fish and chip papers can’t be recycled because of the grease on them so please put these in your black bin.

Washing and squashing

Over Christmas we produce more recycling than at other times of the year so it is more important than ever that we all wash and squash things like plastic bottles, clean foil trays and drinks cans so that we can fit extra in our bins. If you squash plastic bottles remember to pop the lid back on so that it stays squashed.

Over Christmas we produce more recycling than at other times of the year so it is more important than ever that if you are able to we wash and squash drinks cans. They can have sharp edges so it is best to do this while wearing sturdy shoes.

Squashing and breaking up

Over Christmas we produce more rubbish than at other times of the year so it is important that we break up things like blocks of polystyrene packaging and squash plastic bottles and tubs to be able to fit extra rubbish into the black and grey bins.

Over Christmas we produce more rubbish than at other times of the year so it is important that we break up things like blocks of polystyrene packaging and squash plastic tubs to be able to fit extra rubbish into the black and grey bins.

Wrapping paper

It’s Christmas morning, all the presents have been opened and you have what feels like a mountain of wrapping paper but what do you do with it all? If there are any big bits you could keep them to use again next year or smaller pieces for a pass the parcel at New Year. If not, why not check if it can be recycled? Paper that is made with foil, glitter, foam or embellishments can’t be recycled, as for the rest if you can scrunch it in a ball and it stays that way it can go in your paper recycling.

DEFRA estimates that the UK uses enough wrapping paper each year to wrap the island of Guernsey. Not all of this can be recycled so why not consider a few simple alternatives such as gift bags or boxes and some gifts don’t need a lot of wrapping such as jewellery boxes, scarves or presentation boxes which could just be tied up with ribbon instead.


Polystyrene blocks often come in unusual shapes and take up a lot of space, make sure you break these up so that they don’t take up unnecessary space in the bin and if you plan on making a trip to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or tip they are light, clean and easier to transport than some other kinds of waste.

Cardboard boxes

In the run up to Christmas and over the festive period we have a massive amount of cardboard packaging. This can take up a lot of space so we need to make sure we flatten boxes and cut big pieces down to allow us all to fit the most possible recycling into or bins and boxes. If you have extra cardboard flatten or cut it down to size and bundle it up to put out with your recycling ready for collection.

Small WEEE

If you get a new hairdryer, pair of straighteners or other small electrical item for Christmas the old one, if it still works, could be given to a charity shop that accepts electrical items. If they don’t work anymore please don’t put them in your black or grey bin, these should be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or tip.

Reuse Shop

All of the Household Waste Recycling Centres across Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham accept items for reuse such as bikes, working toys and furniture so if you have good quality items that you are taking to the tip please make sure that you keep them clean and dry and make staff aware that they may be OK for reuse.


We have all been there, you are given a gift that although perfectly nice just isn’t for you but would be perfect for somebody you know. Why not re-gift it rather than throwing it away. If you don’t know anyone yourself why not donate it to a charity shop.

Old bikes

If you’ve bought the kids a new bike for Christmas, or even treated yourself, the old bike could be perfect for someone else. If you don’t have a willing cyclist to donate it to you could take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre who will pass it on to Cycle Penistone who recondition, service and resell bikes.

Real Christmas Trees

Real Christmas trees can be composted at home, taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or left in the garden to drop their needles and the trunk and branches chopped up and put in the green bin though these won’t be collected until Spring, don’t forget to make sure that the lid will close.

Artificial Christmas Trees

If you are replacing an artificial Christmas tree that is still good in good condition it could be given to a friend in need of a tree or a charity shop for reuse and resale.

Christmas Decorations

At the end of the festive period make sure decorations and baubles are packed away carefully to ensure they don’t get damaged and will last longer. Maybe you are downsizing, moving in with someone new or just have too many decorations, whatever the reason good quality decorations can be given to charity shops for reuse and resale. If you are buying new decorations have a think about their lifespan, festive bunting may be a better alternative to single use plastic decorations.


We all produce more food waste over the festive period but there are lots of things out there to help. Why not visit Love food, Hate waste to use their handy portion guide so whether you are feeding just yourself or the five-thousand you don’t end up overbuying, overcooking and having to throw food away.

If you do cook too much food most of our traditional Christmas sides like red cabbage, roast parsnips and roast potatoes freeze really well and will make a great meal once Christmas is over. If you don’t fancy the traditional turkey curry buffet why not try your hand at a turkey, ham and leek pie instead?

There are some foods that we buy at Christmas that we just don’t have the rest of the year and don’t always know what to do if they don’t get used up. For example, that bowl of nuts that sits on the fireplace throughout Christmas, someone picks out all the walnuts and pecans and the rest are still there in January or the box of clementines or even the cranberry sauce. All three of these can be used up to make a tasty, gooey chocolate brownie that the whole family will love.

If you do cook a whole turkey or chicken why not use the bones, vegetable peelings and any leftover veg like carrots to make a simple soup. It’s a great way to use up any cream left over from the Christmas pudding too.

Mince Pies

Most of us will enjoy a mince pie or two over the festive period but did you know that those little foil trays can go in your recycling too?

Keeping Santa Going

If you’ve been keeping Santa and the reindeers well stocked with sherry, mince pies, carrots and milk we know they’re grateful but please don’t forget to recycle the packaging and compost the carrot tops.

Christmas cards

The average person in the UK receives nearly 20 Christmas cards a year some of these can be reused to make tags for next year as a quick craft project for the kids before they go back to school.

Recycling Christmas cards can be tricky. Any cards with foil, glitter or embellishments can’t be recycled but the rest can be put in the recycling with the rest of your cardboard. Don’t forget to recycle the envelopes too.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

We understand that over Christmas we all make more waste and sometimes need a helping hand to get rid of it. That is why the Household Waste Recycling Centres are open 7 days a week for the 2 weeks of the festive period.


Reducing your waste is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. 

If you would like top tips on reducing food waste visit There is more advice on reducing waste at


Reusing your household items is great for the environment and can be good for your pocket too. Visit to find out more.


Each council differs in terms of what you can or cannot recycle at home. You can take items that you can't recycle at home to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, or start home composting.

Household Waste Recycling Centres 

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), sometimes called tips or dump it sites, are places where residents can take household waste for recycling or disposal.

Many of these sites take a wide range of materials from those that you can dispose of through kerbside collections such as cardboard and garden waste to more unusual items for recycling such as electrical items, batteries and furniture. To find out where you can dispose of a specific material use the recycling locator above.

Find out more about bins, rubbish and recycling in your area




Home composting

Home composting can be a great alternative or addition to kerbside composting schemes and in one year can save greenhouse gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle makes in a year.

Get tips and advice about home composting