No matter how you are planning on celebrating Christmas this year, one online tool is likely to prove invaluable when it comes to dealing with the aftermath.
Whether you’re trying to find out what to do with unwanted gifts, discarded Christmas trees, or leftover food, Oxfordshire County Council’s Waste Wizard, and other sources of advice, will tell you all you need to know about how to dispose of it.
Councillor Yvonne Constance Constance, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Christmas is going to be different for all of us this year, but we can still celebrate, have fun and, of course, recycle.
“More and more of our residents are reducing, reusing and recycling this Christmas. Please join them. If you have an item which you no longer need and are unsure where to take it or which bin to use, we have an online tool available called the Waste Wizard to help.”
Although many of the usual Yuletide activities may have stopped due to COVID-19, people in their festive bubbles can still enjoy Christmas dinners and other treats. As a result, Oxfordshire expects to produce an extra 2,500 tonnes of household waste over the Christmas period.
This includes waste that can be recycled but cannot be put into kerbside recycling bin, such as batteries which can cause fires in collection vehicles and at recycling facilities and centres, electrical items that need to be recycled separately, and textiles that can get caught up in sorting machinery. The Waste Wizard has all the answers – go to www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wastewizard
And remember that waste doesn’t have to be wasted.
In the UK, over 21 million of us receive at least one unwanted present each Christmas. To reduce this, consider giving alternative gifts to your friends and family this year – donate to a charity of their choice, buy an online class, or re-gift something you already have which you know they will use and love.
A third of food ends up in the general waste bin, and much of this could be eaten, reducing waste and saving money too. You can freeze and store food after the festivities to eat in the months following December – visit Love Food Hate Waste for ideas and recipes.
For food that can’t be eaten another day, recycle it directly into your outdoor food and garden waste bin.
You can save bows, ribbons, gift bags and cards for next year and reuse them as gift tags the following year.
Consider if the real tree you bought could be replanted and used again next year. If it can’t be, your district council can collect these from the kerbside if you are signed up to a garden waste collection or check with them if they are operating nearby drop-off points. Alternatively, they can be brought to your local recycling centre to be recycled – there are seven of them spread around the county. Please make sure to socially distance when you visit.
Don’t forget recycling centre opening hours and collection dates vary. The recycling centres close early at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and are closed all day on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Double-check revised collection dates through your district council’s website, to be sure you don’t miss the crews.
More information can be found at www.oxfordshirerecycles.org.uk/christmas and by following us on social media for updates on Facebook: @OxfordshireRecycles and Twitter: @OxonRecycles