Recycle All The Way This Christmas

The majority of kerbside bin collections will continue as usual over this year’s festive period in Edinburgh.

Other than Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, rubbish and recycling will be picked up on normal calendar days.Those who receive collections on Tuesdays will have their landfill and recycling bins collected on the previous Saturday over the two weeks.

The Council will also continue to provide a free real Christmas tree recycling service for all residents, with collections taking place on set days in December and January.

Transport and Environment Vice Convener, Councillor Karen Doran, said:

As in previous years, we’re working hard to make sure changes to bin collections are minimal over the festive period. The average household throws away about 30% extra waste every Christmas so it’s important that we make it easy to recycle as much of that as possible. 

Bin collections have undergone significant changes over recent months and it’s down to the hard work of our crews that we’re now overcoming teething issues to return the service to normal, with complaints down more than 60% since new collection calendars were introduced. It’s thanks to them that we’re able to offer collections on Boxing Day and 2 January too.

This year, we’re also continuing to offer free Christmas tree recycling to every resident, helping the public to dispose of festive rubbish and Edinburgh to start 2019 with a lower carbon footprint.

Last year, the Council collected 32,000 tonnes of rubbish over Christmas, 38% of which was recycled.

This year’s festive arrangements aim to encourage recycling by minimising changes, with kerbside collections taking place on Saturday, 22 December rather than Tuesday, 25 December and Saturday, 29 December rather than Tuesday, 1 January. Otherwise, households will be able to put their grey, green and brown wheelie bins, food waste bins and blue boxes out as usual, including on Wednesday 26 December and Wednesday 2 January. Communal bin collections will largely be unaffected.

Earlier this year, a four-day collection rota was introduced for kerbside bins, alongside a new garden waste service.

Christmas Tree recycling

Real Christmas trees will be collected by the Council on designated days, which can be found online. Trees should be placed on the kerbside or by communal bins, for those who use the communal bin service, by 6am on the collection day.

Christmas trees can also be recycled at any of the Household Waste Recycling Centres .Seafield and Sighthill Household Waste Recycling Centres will be closed on 25 December and 1 January, while Craigmillar Household Waste Recycling Centre will be closed on 25 and 26 December and 1, 2 and 3 January. Recycled trees will be turned into compost by the Council.

To enable trees to be recycled, residents are reminded:

  • -To remove all decorations from the Christmas tree
  • To remove stands from trees
  • To cut the tree in half if it is 6ft tall or more 
  • Not to place trees in plastic bags

Festive waste: the facts

  • Households produce on average 30% more waste every Christmas
  • The amount of food and drink wasted in the UK increases by 80% over the festive period.

On average, over Christmas UK households throw away an extra:

  • 115kg of general waste
  • 8.83kg of food
  • 4.8kg of plastic packaging
  • 38 greetings cards
  • 19 cans
  • 161g aluminium foil
  • A recycled Christmas tree will have a 3.5kg CO2 carbon footprint, compared to a 16kg footprint for any tree sent to landfill
  • Last year, the Council collected 32,000 tonnes of rubbish over Christmas, 38% of which was recycled
  • Amongst the materials that can be recycled are Christmas cards,wrapping paper (other than that made with metallic film or glitter), packaging, foil and food leftovers. 

Find out more about what can be recycled on the Council website

*Information from an external source.

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