Green Christmas Advice

The council has released some advice to help you reduce rubbish and have a green, environmentally friendly Christmas.

Each year, homes across the city generate around 10% more rubbish than normal, with wrapping paper, packaging, drinks bottles and yuletide feasting contributing to the increase.

And with Edinburgh’s recycling rates tending to experience a dip between December and January, the council are urging us to do as much as possible to help drive down landfill and the associated costs.

Following these tips can help reduce waste this Christmas.

Tips for a Green Christmas

  • Try to bring a reusable bag when doing Christmas shopping. As of 20th October all Scottish retailers have charged a minimum of 5p for single-use carrier bags, both plastic and paper. So reusing a bag will not only reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfill and litter on the streets, but will save you money.
  • Make sure you use recyclable wrapping paper so you can include it in your paper recycling. This means avoiding wrapping made with foil or plastic. Find out more about recycling wrapping paper on Recycle for Scotland’s website.
  • Try to only buy and cook the food you need to avoid waste – Love Food Hate Waste’s portion planner can help you do this. Any leftovers, bones, shells or other food resulting can be recycled in your communal or kerbside service. Find out more about food recycling on the Council’s website.
  • If you need to make space for a big present, you can arrange a special uplift for bulky items online or by phoning 0131 529 3030. Collection of re-usable furniture and white goods can also be arranged by contacting the National re-use phone line on 0800 0665 820.
  • Electronic greetings cards sent by email can make an environmentally friendly alternative to Christmas cards by cutting down on cardboard. Otherwise, try to send your Christmas wishes on cards made of recycled paper.
  • Waste-free gifts offer a flexible and environmentally friendly option. Vouchers, experience days or charitable donations are one-off and save on the environmental impact of packaging and production, while second hand gifts allow the reuse of an otherwise unwanted item.
  • Once the festivities are over and the decorations have been taken down, there are plenty of ways to dispose of your real Christmas tree, which will be composted and used in the city’s parks and gardens. Those receiving a garden waste service can have it collected on their pick-up day, while people living in communal bin areas can leave trees beside the nearest shared bin on a number of specific dates – find out more on the Council website.
  • There are many options for recycling over the festive period and all year round. Glass bottles, textiles, small electricals, paper, packaging, food and lots more can be recycled, whether using a kerbside service, communal recycling or by visiting any of the community recycling centres. Full details of what can be recycled where are available on the Council website.

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said:

“It is likely that over the festive period most of us will spend, consume and inevitably generate more waste than usual. So it’s important that we give residents the facility to recycle as much of this as possible, avoiding the cost and environmental impact of sending extra rubbish to landfill each year.

“Thanks to our recycling service, which caters to the many different types of properties and households in the city, homes will be able to recycle easily over the Christmas holidays.”

For more details on rubbish and recycling in Edinburgh, visit the Council web pages.

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