Most families throw away much more food than normal over Christmas, but turkey bones, coffee grounds and leftover Christmas dinner can all be disposed of in the green food bin instead of the black refuse sack or bin. And freezing leftovers for another day saves money as well as reduces waste. Food disposed of using the green bin is used to create energy and fertilizer and disposing of it this way stops the refuse bin from smelling.
Lots of common household items can be recycled from home, including plastic drink bottles, meat trays, tubs and cartons, as well as plastic toiletry and cleaning bottles.
Cardboard packaging from toys, chocolate boxes and food packaging along with glass bottles, drink and food cans and aerosols can also be given another lease of life. And old Christmas cards, envelopes and wrapping paper can also be recycled, but only if they don’t contain foil or glitter.
Residents that are having a pre-Christmas clear out of clothes, furniture and appliances can recycle or reuse in several different ways. Furniture and working electrical items can be reused at the Furnish Re-Use Centre, Greenford. For more information, go to www.sbhg.co.uk/furnish. Unwanted clothes, textiles and shoes (tied in pairs) can also be placed in a plastic bag in the green box or donated using one of the clothes banks in the borough.
People that live in flats or on red routes can also recycle a wide range of items using either communal recycling bins or clear sacks.
This year, Ealing Council is again offering a free recycling service for real Christmas trees. Once again, residents will be able to leave their tree with their recycling and refuse on their normal collection day, or take it to a number of drop-off points around the borough.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “Christmas is the season for giving and recycling is a great way to give to your local community and to the environment. Ealing spent £8million on landfill charges last year; money that could be better spent on our local area. By recycling, residents are helping to reduce our waste disposal bill and are also saving valuable resources and energy.
“When the new recycling and refuse service starts next year, it will be even easier to do the right thing, because all recycling, except for food waste, will go in one wheelie bin, with refuse in another. This will mean that residents will be able to recycle even more, helping to keep our costs down and streets clean.”
To find out what can be recycled from Ealing homes over Christmas, go to http://www.recyclemystuff.org.uk/.
For tips on portion sizes and using leftovers, go to http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/