21 December 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

Festive period sees Saturday waste collections

Local authorities are gearing up for Christmas with many making changes to collection days, and issuing advice to residents on what to recycle over the festive period.

In Cherwell, for example, residents are having their collection days moved to the weekend to avoid disruption to services.

Households in the district which have a collection that would otherwise fall on Christmas Day are being warned to put their containers out three days earlier this year. Collections due on Boxing Day, Wednesday, 26 December will be put back until Saturday, 29 December, the council says.

And, Cllr Debbie Pickford, Cherwell district council’s lead member for clean and green, issued a reminder to residents on what they can do to help.

“With all that packaging from presents and the extra food we consume, volumes of waste and recycling reach a crescendo at Christmas,” she said. “Residents can help by making sure their bins are out for 7am. Lots of us will also be entertaining visitors but please make sure they park so that bin lorries can get through.”


Elsewhere, Bristol Waste Company – the company which carries out collections for Bristol city council – has published a guide to residents on waste collections at Christmas.

Bristol Waste Company is reminding residents to put out their trees for collection

Christmas trees will be collected for free, with a yellow tree symbol marking the day on the collections calendar when they can be collected.

The firm has also published advice on festive food waste, which explains how to waste less, save money and make sure that any unavoidable food waste goes in the brown food waste bins.

Bristol Waste Company says cards can be disposed of in the green recycling box. And, cardboard should be flattened or folded so it fits inside the green box.

The company has also urged residents not to put fairy lights into the black wheelie bins. Instead, it has asked residents to put them in a clear bag next to the black recycling box. Batteries should also be displayed in clear bags.


Meanwhile in Somerset, a spokesperson for the Somerset Waste Partnership explained that it is largely “business as usual” for the county’s collections service. However, the partnership has implemented some changes to collections.

Between Tuesday 25 and Friday 28 December, all scheduled collections will be two days later, including Friday pickups on Sunday 30 December. All collections from Tuesday 1 January to Friday 4 January are one day later, including Friday pick-ups on Saturday 5 January.

The authority has also been reminding customers on food waste, wrapping paper and Christmas tree recycling.

‘Scrunch test’

Residents in Norfolk are being asked to carry out the ‘scrunch test’ on their wrapping paper this year to make sure the right thing goes in the right bin.

(l-r) Cllr John Fisher and Cllr Ian Devereux launching their Christmas campaign: ‘Scrunch it to sort’

‘Scrunch it to sort it’ is a campaign by Norfolk Waste Partnership aimed at getting foil paper, glitter and sticky tape out of people’s recycling bins and making sure good quality paper goes in.

“To carry out the test, scrunch the wrapping paper in your hand. If it stays scrunched, it can go in your recycling bin but if it bounces back, it can’t be recycled and needs to go in the rubbish bin,” says Norfolk Waste Partnership.

These items cannot be recycled and end up contaminating the county’s recycling as it goes through the sorting facility in Costessey, Norfolk Waste Partnership says.

And, the authority has advised residents on other materials which can be recycled at Christmas, including mince pie boxes, plastic trays and foil tins, glass bottles, plastic bottles, Christmas cards, cardboard boxes and toy packaging, cardboard chocolate and biscuit boxes and their inner trays.


In Merseyside, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), is encouraging residents to use recycling centres “as much as possible” over the Christmas period – to avoid a build-up of material at the kerbside and boost recycling rates.

Carl Beer, chief executive of MRWA, said: “A lot of waste is created at this time of the year so it’s a good chance to boost Merseyside’s recycling levels. Our Recycling Centres will happily accept the clutter of people’s packaging, bottles and cans – and we’d love your real Christmas trees.”

The Centres accept many materials such as cans, cardboard, garden waste (including real Christmas trees), glass jars and bottles, paper, large plastics, scrap metal (including metal artificial trees), textiles, toys, white goods and electrical items.

And, the authority has issued 10 tips for a ‘cleaner Christmas’ which includes flattening cardboard boxes and removing plastic wrapping and polystyrene.

South Staffordshire

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, Daniel Roberts, waste management officer for South Staffordshire council and regional representative for local authority association LARAC explained that many collection crews across the country are working at least one Saturday during the festive period to minimise disruption.

“Like many councils, South Staffordshire are also collecting for composting real Christmas trees free of charge in the New Year as part of our ‘Treecycle’ campaign,” he said.

Mr Roberts explained that key messages, such as potential changes to collection dates/times, promotion of material for recycling, including links to national campaigns (e.g. Love Food Hate Waste) are often relayed via social media.

Mr Roberts explained that South Staffordshire had created a festive bin men video being promoted on Twitter and Facebook but he said there is “still a place” for communications such as bin tags, booklets/leaflets and bin stickers.


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