Christmas creates a lot of waste that takes up space in landfill sites so the socially-conscious and environmentally-aware thing to do is recycle as much Christmas rubbish as is possible. Using recycling packaging and wrapping paper is a start and some people opt to send the digital equivalents of traditional Christmas cards known as e-cards. Shredding and composting Christmas trees is better than sending them to landfill while plastic trees should be resused each year.
Separate the recyclable from the unrecyclable.
While some of the waste accumulated over Christmas is unrecyclable a lot of the rubbish gathered over the holiday can be recycled. A way to determine whether or not Christmas waste can be recycled is to see if it has the recycling symbol, the triangle-like shape consisting of three chasing arrows, although in the absence of the symbol there are some rules of thumb to say whether the rubbish should end up in landfill or at the recycling plant.
What can be recycled?
Much of the packaging materials used for Christmas presents can be recycled. Empty glass bottles that accumulate over the holidays from the consumption of soft and alcoholic drinks and these can be recycled although they need to be clean and have the labels removed. Aluminium and steel containers, including cans and tins, can be recycled as can cardboard and paper as well as certain varieties of plastic.
What cannot be recycled?
Some recycling services do not accept laminated wrapping paper or non-laminated wrapping paper if it has sticky-tape or plastic ribbons attached to it and the same can be true of Christmas cards which are, more often than not, laminated. While much of the plastic used as gift packaging material is recyclable some plastics cannot be recycled and so should be put into the rubbish bin, or reused in the home if possible.
What do do with Christmas trees?
When choosing a Christmas tree it is best to get a real tree, usually some variation of fur or pine grown specifically for that purpose, than the plastic variety. For those who do decide to get a plastic tree it should be used each Christmas rather than disposed of after the holidays. Real Christmas trees can either be taken away by local authorities after use or taken to a recycling site where these biodegradable items can be chipped and composted.