Christmas Guide to Recycling
CHRISTMAS RECYCLING GUIDE
We at Eco Sustainable Solutions wish you all a very Merry Christmas. When having your office parties and general Christmas celebrations; we would like to remind you of the waste amounts and how your actions this time of year can help the environment.
Please find your local recycling points and dispose of your materials properly. This can include plastic, glass, aluminium, paper, scrap metal etc. Please consult your local waste management authority or any nearby local drop off points.
CAN I RECYCLE MY WRAPPING PAPER AND CARDS?
Every Christmas the UK uses 300,000 tonnes of paper/card every year. This is enough packaging to cover Big Ben almost 260,000 times. Most of which is not reusable. Please consider this when you are putting together your secret santas!
After the Christmas office party you can rest easy knowing most traditional wrapping paper is recyclable, but unfortunately has limited usage. Due to the design of the paper; any glitter or additional decorations can compromise the recycling process. Industry sources agree that paper can survive an average of 4 – 6 trips, and the process can wear down the weaves in the material after time.All wood and paper are grinded with water until a porridge-like solution is made. This is smoothed down and dried to create paper. This process can wear down the material and reduce the chance of being used again in future.
So paper is not as green as you may think. Cardboard boxes and packaging can of course be made to be reusable, but will you need the boxes to store equipment or files through the year?
If not, then fold your cardboard boxes up and leave for your local waste management to dispose of properly. If you have any dead batteries then these are great to be used again also, find your local battery bin to dispose of so the materials may be recycled.
HOW TO RECYCLE CHRISTMAS TREES?
Recycling your tree is easy to do and benefits the environment. We at Eco would recommend using a live tree during your Christmas period; these trees are mucheasier to be recycled for future use. They are biodegradable and are more environmentally friendly.
Live trees shall need to be watered regularly at the base, this is to keep your tree healthy and reduce risk of fires. A healthy watered tree is better for the recycling process. They can be made into wood chippings, compost or create energy anaerobically at our facilities.
If you happen to prefer a pretend artificial tree and choose not to reuse it this year or next, it can be recycled for the plastic and reused for something else (depending on your location and if your area waste management authority is able to do so). Please remember to remove any non-recyclable decorations before disposal.
Please see guide below on what to do with your tree this Christmas...
When you feel it is time to dispose of the tree, take it to your local recycling point where the materials can be used for further use (live or artificial). You can find these points by searching online.
These processes can utilise the trees into mulch and compost and even energy!
Whilst we would rather you dispose of a tree in an environmentally responsible and energy efficient manner, If you choose to burn the tree then please ensure you have removed all of your branches, pines, firs and other evergreens before doing so. These have high content of flammable turpentine oils inside that can cause a fire to become out of control.
To burn - chop the wood into logs and stack in a cool, open area for several months to dry. Once the sap and oils have dried up, pick up the log and shake off any insects/debris and place carefully on top of an already lit fire.
Do not burn an artificial tree. This can be very dangerous and let out thick and toxic black fumes. Take this to your local recycling point where the materials can be disposed of. Alternatively, you can donate this to a nearby charity shop or sell online.We at Eco made our own office Christmas tree in 2015 out of recycled wood. See the link (insert link: “here”) to find out exactly how we did it!
WHAT DECORATIONS CAN BE RECYCLED?
When taking down the tree, most decorations can go back into their boxes and stored away for next year. But on the odd chance you want to get rid of your decorations and save that space for the year – we can advise on how to dispose of your decorations responsibly.
Various decorations such as plastic baubles, Christmas lights and wreaths can be recycled. Please remember that any decorations that have additional decoration (glitter, artificial snow) cannot be put through these processes, as they can alter the recycling process all together. If you are putting your decorations into recycling then please check them for any additional
Tinsel and glass baubles cannot be recycled. Please wrap these up and throw these away responsibly into your bin. Usually glass can be recycled and is the one material which does not lose any of its potency. However, glass baubles cannot be recycled as they are typically made with mixed materials and can contaminate the recycling process.
Eat, drink and be merry this Christmas! If you are unsure at the office party, then use this guide on how to dispose of your waste responsibly. And make sure to look at our (insert link: “Recycling page”) for more information on how we practice this day to day. Your input makes a difference to the amount of waste that happens every Christmas.
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