How to help the climate this Christmas – smart ideas to protect the environment

We all know that Christmas is a time of excesses. While it is easy to regret over-indulging in festive treats, not everyone thinks about how – or what – to recycle.

That is why East Devon District Council has come up with clever ideas to help you ‘reduce, refill, reuse and recycle’ over the festive period.

With the countdown to the big day well under way, the local authority has put together some simple ways everyone can enjoy Christmas without neglecting the environment.

“We all know Christmas can be a busy time – so many things to remember, shopping to organise, food to prepare! There’s so much going on that often recycling can fall to the bottom of the list,” said a spokesperson.

“But did you know that, on average, we produce 30 per cent more waste over the Christmas period? With all the fun, food, and gifts comes lots of packaging and extra waste.”

The council’s recycling ideas aim to help East Devon recycle more, cut back on the waste and save some pennies too.

Local householders are among the best in the country at recycling as the district now recycles around 60 per cent of the waste that is produced.

The recyclable materials collected are valuable resources that are used as raw materials in manufacturing, to generate renewable power or create natural fertiliser for agriculture.

“Whilst we want to recycle as much as possible, we also need to preserve the quality of the materials to make them easy to use in these ways. So quality as well as quantity counts in recycling,” said the spokesperson.

Here’s what you can do to recycle more over the festive period:

• Plain wrapping paper or plain Christmas cards – place these in your green recycling box
• Wrapping paper or Christmas cards with glitter, foil or plastic – sorry we can’t accept these for recycling so they need to go in your wheeled bin and they will be used to generate electricity. Putting these out for recycling could contaminate a whole lorry load of paper or cardboard!
• Textiles – put these into a bag and then into your recycling box to keep them dry. The textiles and shoes we collect are re-used so we are after the best quality items we can get and need to keep them clean and dry
• Food – the best thing to do with food during the festivities is to eat and enjoy. But even the best shopper and most skilled cook will get some food waste. You can use any single use bag to line your food caddy to make food recycling easy and to keep your blue caddy nice and clean
• Plastic film – Unfortunately we are unable to recycle plastic film products such as film wrappers, plastic bags, crisp packets, and polythene and pill casing. Put these items in your wheeled bin so that we can generate energy from them.
• Polystyrene – There is always lots of polystyrene around at Christmas in packaging. This is really difficult to recycle so please put this into your wheeled bin and we will generate energy from it.
• Extra recycling – If you have extra recycling at this time of year and you have filled your recycling containers you can put can put the extra materials in a box or bag next to your regular containers.

Christmas tree recycling in East Devon

The council is holding Christmas tree recycling events in the New Year. You can bring along your real tree to have it mulched.

Christmas tree

Don’t forget to recycle your Christmas tree!

The events will be held at:

  • Axminster West Street car park, Mon 6 Jan, 12.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Broadclyst Victory Hall car park, Tue 7 Jan, 12.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Budleigh Salterton Lime Kiln car park, Tue 7 Jan, 8.30am to 11.30am
  • Cranbrook Court Royal Road nr pub, Wed 8 January 12.30pm -2.30pm
  • Exmouth Imperial Road car park, Mon 6 Jan, 8.30am to 2pm
  • Honiton Lace Walk car park, Tue 7 Jan, 8.30am to 11.30am
  • Ottery St Mary Land of Canaan car park,Tue 7 Jan, 12.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Seaton Harbour Road car park, Mon 6 Jan, 8.30am to 11.30am
  • Sidmouth Manor Road car park, Wed 8 Jan, 8.30am to 12pm

For more information, download the East Devon app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The app enables you to access a variety of council services on your smartphone.

You can also now use your Alexa to ‘Ask East Devon District Council . . .’  and then give Alexa your question.

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