Nottinghamshire residents asked to reduce and recycle at Christmas 2020

Make sure you don't end up on the naughty list and help prevent a season of waste

Across the UK, Brits are expected to produce 30%* more waste this festive period than at any other time of the year. That’s an extra three million tonnes! To help prevent an unnecessary rise in waste levels, Veolia (Nottinghamshire County Council’s recycling and waste contractor) are asking residents to reduce and recycle this Christmas.


Preparing for the festive season is second nature to some, but it can be easy to overlook the impact caused by our annual routines. From food to gift shopping, the increase in consumption over the festive season results in almost a third more waste being produced over December and January than at any other time of the year. The numbers associated with festive season waste are staggering;  over one billion cards will be sent, 227,000 miles of wrapping paper used, and 17.2 million sprouts thrown in the bin.

Christmas is a time for giving, and the teams behind Notts Recycles are asking everyone to show their appreciation to the environment through conscious effort and a few tweaks in our holiday preparation to make more sustainable choices and help prevent a season of waste.

Some of the items commonly missed from the recycling bin over Christmas
Find out how to reduce, reuse and recycle this Christmas.
Don't get on the naughty list by putting these things in your recycling bin.

Could this be the year to make something as a gift and help to reduce excess unrecyclable plastic packaging? Veolia and Nottinghamshire County Council have a few ideas to try, with information and guidance to help residents celebrate sustainably this year

Less waste Christmas gifting

  • Spread festive cheer online: E-cards and e-vouchers can brighten a loved one’s day, without generating any waste. Residents can purchase them online from the safety of their home and avoid unnecessary paper waste whilst sending (virtual) merriness.
  • Plan your feast: 70% of Britains readily admit that they buy far more food than they need over the festive period. Don’t add to the mountains of food waste unnecessarily generated at this time of year and only buy for those you are sharing the day with, by planning ahead.
  • Get your apron on and cook or bake a gift: Presenting it in a reusable tin or jar. If you can ensure there’s no food waste created to you’ll be even higher on the nice list.
  • How about repairing / mending / upcycling: Fixing a beloved item, making a thoughtful gift or recreating a childhood memory. Find ideas and inspiration on the Veolia Nottinghamshire website for how to reuse old and unwanted textiles.
  • Take a digital challenge: Photo reels for digital screens and highlights videos that can be sent online allow you to share news and updates with family and friends from a distance.
  • Crafty creations: Making your own cards and reusing cards from previous years for gift tags has been an easy eco win for a few years, but it’s still a good one to try. Packing your Christmas cards with your decorations ensure you’re prepared for the year ahead. 

Preventing unnecessary waste over the festive period is essential to reducing Nottinghamshire’s environmental impact. However, where waste is unavoidable, residents must make use of their recycling service, to help preserve precious resources.


Don’t forget to check with the local District / Borough council regarding any changes to kerbside bin collections over the Christmas period. 


Here’s how to recycle some of the most common by-products of the festive season in Nottinghamshire:

  • Cardboard boxes: Cardboard boxes should always be recycled. Flatten boxes to save space and avoid overflowing recycling bins and save time at the Recycling Centres.
  • Aluminium cans and steel tins: Drinks cans, aerosols and tin cans are highly recyclable and can be remade into new items again. Always recycle these in the recycling bin.
  • Christmas trees: Please do not fly-tip any used Christmas trees. Whether real or fake, there are legitimate reuse and recycling options in Nottinghamshire. Take your real Christmas Tree to a Recycling Centre or donate good condition, plastic trees to charity shops for others to reuse next year.
  • Batteries: Batteries cannot be disposed of in household recycling bins, but they can be taken to a Recycling Centre or to a local large supermarket. Some Boroughs and Districts have additional battery collections, please check their websites for further information.
At Christmas we all tend to create more waste than usual, so it’s vital that everyone in Nottinghamshire helps to reduce their waste, reuse and recycle this festive season. After a tough year, we’d like to extend our best (sustainable!) season’s greetings to you all.
Lea Hawkes
General Manager Veolia Nottinghamshire
The Christmas period can mean more waste – but like the rest of the year we can still reduce, reuse and recycle many items, and dispose of them correctly. If you’re unsure of where to put some of the seasonal items, maybe tinsel or sweet tins, visit Veolia’s website, or for common everyday items check the County Council’s website for a definitive list.

On behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council I’d like to say thanks to Nottinghamshire residents for their recycling efforts throughout this challenging year, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Councillor Phil Rostance
Vice Chairman of Communities and Place Committee, Nottinghamshire County Council

After the big day meal is over, remember to check out how best to use up those leftovers. 

One traditional choice for a festive dessert is Christmas pudding - but what happens to the leftovers of that fruity pud if the chocolates from a stocking have caught the eye of your dinner table guests instead. Nottinghamshire recycles have got you covered with a range of downloadable festive food waste reduction recipes to see you into the New Year:

Merry Christmas from everyone at Nottinghamshire Recycles.