Every year in the UK over 8 million Christmas trees are sold in the UK but amazingly only 10% are getting recycled correctly the rest are ending up at landfill or sadly being dumped on the streets. So after the festive season is over (January 6th) how should you dispose of them correctly. There are a large number of options available the majority are listed below.
What To Do With Your Old Tree
First remove all the decorations and lights and put them away for next year. Remove it from its pot or stand and then find out whether a special collection will be made in your local area. Special collections will usually be advertised in your local newspaper or a sticker will be on your green bin. If there are no adverts about you could ring your local council to see whether they offering a collection. On the day of the collection simply leave your old tree in the designated area or next to your green bin to picked up.
In London all 33 boroughs are offering Xmas tree recycling services with 26 of these doing a collection from home service and the other 17 offering special drop off points. More details of these can be found at Recycle for London. Most local authorities around the country are offering similar services.
If you miss the collection in your local area you could alternatively take your unwanted tree to your local waste recycling centre or a drop off point at your local park. Always best to check with them first before making the trip.
Any old xmas trees that are collected will be shredded and the chips used for decoration in parks or other wooded areas.
Another option would be to chop it up yourself and put the pieces straight into your green bin to be composted.
If you know anyone that works at a zoo you could even drop your tree off there as baby elephants love eating them!
What Can Be Done With Artificial Trees
Although real trees can be recycled artificial trees cannot. Due to the materials they are made out of they can only unfortunately be disposed of at the rubbish tip. However if you don’t want to save your artificial tree till the following year, you could always pass it onto friends or put in on eBay so someone else can make use of it.
Other Xmas Items That Be Recycled or Reused
On top of the millions of Christmas trees that are bought every year there are also a billion Christmas cards and 83 square km of wrapping paper that need disposing of. One good idea for Christmas Cards is to keep them until next year and then cut squares out of them to make them into gift tags. If you don’t want them using up space then you can either put them straight into your blue bin or drop them in at high street retailers who will donate them to Charities such as the Woodland Trust.
Any used wrapping paper can go straight in your blue bin just try to remove any sellotape that may be stuck to it first.