Top recycling tips for the festive season in East Devon

East Devon recycling van

East Devon recycling van - Credit: Archant

As the Christmas celebrations get under way, you may end up with more waste than normal but much of it can be recycled or put to good use.

Plastic bottles for recycling. Picture: Getty Images

Plastic bottles for recycling. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

During the Christmas period the average family generates 30 per cent more waste than usual, and in an age where environmental consciousness is growing faster than ever before, most people will want to want to do their 'bit' to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

East Devon householders are among the best in the country at recycling as the district now recycles around 60 per cent of the waste that's produced.

Yet, the forthcoming festive celebrations that come with fun, food and gifts, also produces lots of packaging and extra waste. So, East Devon District Council is calling on residents to consider the way they recycle over the festive period.

When it comes to recycling, quality counts as well as quantity. The recyclable items collected are valuable resources that can be used as raw materials in manufacturing. The materials can also be converted to generate renewable power or create natural fertiliser for agriculture. By preserving the quality of the recyclable rubbish, it is easier for the council to re-use it in a constructive way.

Batteries are believed to be the cause of two fires at the recycling centre. Picture: Getty Images/i

Batteries are believed to be the cause of two fires at the recycling centre. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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To encourage quality recycling over the festive period, East Devon District Council has provided some top tips for local residents:

- Place plain wrapping paper or plain Christmas cards in your green recycling box. The paper is then mashed up into pulp and reformed into large paper rolls that are cut down to size, then used by printing companies to make newspapers.

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- Throw all wrapping paper or Christmas cards that are decorated with glitter, foil or plastic in your wheeled bin. Placing these items incorrectly in with the recycling could contaminate a whole lorry load of paper or cardboard. As these items can't be accepted for recycling, they will be used to generate electricity instead.

- To keep textiles, clothing and shoes dry, pop them into a bag before depositing them in your recycling box. As all the textiles, clothing and shoes are reused, ensure that each item is clean, dry and in a reasonable condition. Clothes are taken by the Salvation Army, whilst some of the textiles are shipped off to third world countries and deprived areas around the globe.

Wrapping Christmas presents.

Wrapping Christmas presents. - Credit: Archant

- It's Christmas and the best thing to do with food during the festivities is to simply eat it and enjoy it. Yet it's inevitable that, even those with big appetites, will generate some food waste. To dispose of any unwanted food items, use any single use bag to line your food caddy to make recycling easy and to keep your blue caddy nice and clean. Visit for ideas and recipes to help cut out food waste this festive season.

- It's not possible to recycle plastic film products such as film wrappers, plastic bags, crisp packets, and polythene and pill casing, so put these items in your wheeled bin, so energy can be produced from them.

- Many items bought around Christmas are encased in polystyrene packaging, which is really difficult to recycle. All polystyrene should be consigned to your wheeled bin.

- It's likely that you will have extra recycling at this time of year. So, if your green containers are full, place any extra recyclable materials in a box or bag next to your regular containers.

- Early in the new year, East Devon District Council will be organising Christmas tree recycling, so keep an eye out for details and dates coming your way.

Information on the Christmas and New Year recycling and waste collection dates have been sent to all households. If you have any further questions about recycling or when your collections will be taking place during the holiday period, go to East Devon District Council's website -

Alternatively, you can get this information by downloading the East Devon app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The app enables you to access a variety of council services on your smartphone.

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