Tis the season to recycle

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The run up to Christmas and New Year, up to several weeks afterwards, will see an increase in waste produced by individual households.

Over the Christmas period there tends to be an increase in waste. Plastic and otherwise packaging, wrapping paper, food, food wrappings, tinsel, old items, electrical waste, you name it. Out with the old in with the new by all means, but your new gadget doesn’t need to burden the Earth.

It is always a good idea to reuse and recycle as much as possible. This year in particular, as the coronavirus pandemic sees more of us spending longer at home, there is additional strain put on waste collection services. Fly tipping is on the rise and our communities bear the brunt.

It is therefore more crucial than ever to minimise our waste and recycle as much as we can. The council offers a weekly recycling service and there are several alternatives to filling up a black bin bag.

Many have done a home clearing spree and more will likely do it over Christmas and New Year, to make space for new things.

We are asking everyone to help by Reusing where possible, Recycling and as a last resort, disposing of unwanted items and waste responsibly.

What you can do

  • Packaging

Most packaging can now be recycled. Ideally opt for items with minimal packaging but if your mind is set on one thing, by all means get it but try to recycle the excess package. Look for the recycling symbol on the packaging if in doubt. Responsible companies should at the very least feature that.

Wrapping paper can be recycled in your weekly collection. If it’s not too badly damaged, it can even be reused to wrap another, perhaps smaller present, or it can be excellent crafting material.

Did you know that cardboard boxes can be recycled as well? Break up and flatten cardboard boxes so they can be collected.

If you have a large amount of cardboard boxes, it helps our crews if you can take it to the cardboard skips at the Household Waste Recycling Centres.

  • Food

Too much food left behind over Christmas? Do you still have boxes of chocolates, biscuits or anything other food related that you don’t want or rather wouldn’t eat?

Supermarkets often collect packaged food to donate. Why not take it there?

Glass bottles, jars, tin cans, juice cartons can all be recycled. Even some of the plastic trays food comes in can be recycled.

Calderdale council offers a food waste collection service with the weekly recycling. Or if you are a deft garden hand, why not start your own compost heap?

  • Electricals

Electrical items and batteries need to be recycled too. Any shop that sells batteries should have an old battery collection bin. Some supermarkets may also take old fluorescent lightbulbs (not filament).

Old electrical appliances can be taken to the HWRCs. Some places like Currys PC World or mobile phone centres can take smaller appliances for recycling. Check with the store before turning up. Small electrical items, such as hairdryers or toasters can be put in your weekly recycling collection.

  • Bulky items

Bulky items like furniture, old appliances or even unwanted Christmas trees can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres.

The Council offers a home bulky item collection service for a fee of £25 per collection, however this is restricted at the moment.

Visit here for more information including a list of alternative ways of disposing of your items:


  • Can you donate or swap your old items?

One man’s trash is another’s treasure. You may be holding on to something that you don’t want because you know it deserves better than wasting.

Several charities will take items from old, good quality clothes, shoes, linen, even furniture, baby items, tools, household equipment, electricals…

Especially during the pandemic, many hostels and shelters are finding it harder to restock. Some of your old items may be invaluable to them.

Charities like Freegle (www.ilovefreegle.org) will put you in touch with others who may find use for your old items. Check out the Calderdale group there!

You could, restrictions permitting, organise a swish/swop with friends or relatives.


There are several great ideas to reuse, recycle, upcycle and in general minimise the waste we produce. If you have any good ideas you’d like to share, feel free to comment down below. We’d love to have your thoughts!

Also of interest: Christmas and New Year waste and recycling collection dates