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‘10 top tips’ to recycle more this Christmas

20 December 2017

Derry & Strabane District Council are providing 10 top tips to help people throughout the city and district turn this Christmas into a recycling opportunity – and do as much as possible to help drive down landfill and associated costs which Council could put into other vital public services in the community.

Christmas is a time when we end up with a lot of extra packaging, food and general waste. Help your local environment by reducing the amount you buy, reusing materials in your home and recycling.

Each year, homes across the city and district generate around 10% more rubbish than normal during Christmas & the New Year – with wrapping paper, packaging, drinks bottles and festive feasting all contributing to the increase.  

Council have also developed new videos on their website for tips on what items go in which bin and alternative ways to recycle over the festive season.  

It might seem like common sense, but following these 10 top tips can help reduce waste this Christmas…

  • Bring reusable bags when doing your Christmas shopping. Reusing bags will not only reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfill and litter on the streets, but will save you money.
  • Save and reuse your wrapping paper – or just try not to use as much.  Please also remember to recycle all wrapping paper (except the sparkly / foil type) in your blue bin.
  • Buy and cook the food you need – and cut down on food waste by planning your meals.
  • 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.
  • Recycle your ‘real’ Christmas tree. We are encouraging people to dispose of their Christmas trees at their nearest Recycling Centre where we shred them into chippings and use them locally in our parks and green areas throughout the year.
  • Donate unwanted Christmas gifts to your local charity shop.
  • When the lights go out – don’t throw them out. Christmas lights and other electricals that no longer work should be recycled at your nearest Recycling Centre and NOT put in your household bin.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries – and recycle any used ones at your local Recycling Centre. Too many batteries end up in landfill, leaking harmful chemicals and acids into the soil, so please make sure that you recycle all used batteries where you can.
  • Recycle right. Items that can be put in the blue ‘dry recycling’ bins are glass, paper, food and drink cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and food and drink cartons. However, items that cannot be recycled – but are often put in the blue bins – include PLASTIC BAGS, BLACK BIN BAGS, NAPPIES and general food waste which contaminate the recyclable materials that it comes into contact with. Indeed, each contaminated blue bin costs the Council £45 – money which could be put into other vital public services in the community.


If you still have excess waste this festive season, please take it to your nearest Recycling Centre. For details of Derry and Strabane household recycling locations and opening times over Christmas visit http://www.derrystrabane.com/Council/Christmas-Opening-Hours 

To watch the Council’s new videos for tips on what items go in which bin and alternative ways to recycle over this festive season visit http://www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Bins-and-Recycling/Videos

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all in the Environment team at Derry City & Strabane District Council.