Save money and waste less this Christmas

Struggling to find gifts for loved ones? It's never too late - just shop smart!

Struggling to find gifts for loved ones? It's never too late - just shop smart!

Local recycling officers are asking people to shop smart this Christmas in a bid to save money and create less waste.

December can be a time when we tend to overindulge, that’s why Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority  have come up with tips to follow so local residents can slim their shopping, cut their clutter and make their money go further.

Councillor Graham Morgan, Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), said: “At this time of year you can end up with a lot of clutter around the house, too much food and a lot of paper, card and plastic which unnecessarily ends up in landfill. By planning what you buy, using what you already have, making lists and shopping smarter you will save yourself time and money as well as creating less waste."

“Food and clothes are two particular things that people can end up spending too much on, when there are ways of saving money and still getting what you want.”

MRWA's top waste prevention tips:

  • Before you go out shopping write a list and stick to it, as you’re less likely to make an impulsive and unnecessary buy which you didn’t need.
  • When out shopping remember to take re-usable bags with you.
  • Consider buying an experience for someone – concert tickets, a pampering day, or tickets to a tourist attraction.
  • 30% of our clothes haven’t been worn in the last year so search the back of wardrobes and drawers to find your party outfit rather than buying a new one.
  • Accessorise – bring an old outfit to life by customising it with some new additions.
  • Instead of wrapping paper, use gift bags which have got a much longer life and can be used over and over again.
  • When it comes to meals try planning in advance when and what you’re going to be cooking, that way you won’t buy too much. Research from Christmas 2015* showed that British shoppers spent £2.3bn on food items in the two weeks to Christmas – an 8.8% increase in food expenditure compared to the same period in 2014.
  • Cook once eat twice – by carefully cooking more than you need and freezing the extra portions you can eat them another time.
  • Non-frozen leftovers should be wrapped, kept in the fridge and eaten within two days. Use clear takeaway containers to help you see what you have left and maybe add the date on the packet when you put it in the freezer.
  • If you’ve got a home composter then remember to add in Christmas leftovers like fruit and veg peelings. Also add unwanted paper and card. And if you haven’t got a composter, then maybe ask for one as a gift!
  • Remember to take full advantage of your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. There are 14 throughout Merseyside with most accepting a whole host of items such as cans, cardboard, real Christmas trees, glass jars and bottles, paper, scrap metal, textiles, toys and white goods. All the Centres accept electrical items.
  • If there are items like toys, electrical items, bric-a-brac you don’t need after Christmas, you could donate them to the Emmaus Community Reuse Shop at our South Sefton Recycling Centre.

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “A huge amount of rubbish is generated at this time of year but alongside that there is a great opportunity to promote a message of saving money, consuming less, creating less waste and recycling as much as we can.”

For more recycling and waste prevention tips and Christmas recipe ideas visit


Notes to editor:


Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority is a statutory authority established in 1986, following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, to undertake the household waste disposal functions for local authorities across Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and the safe and effective disposal of household waste for Merseyside’s residents.

The Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership is made up of MRWA, plus the District Councils of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley.