Christmas waste - where should it go?

Christmas waste - where should it go?
Christmas, although joyous, can be very wasteful. So what should you do with all the waste when Christmas is over?  

Christmas, although joyous, can be very wasteful. Wrapping paper and packaging are major sources of this waste. According to CARE Australia, Australians use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper during Christmas!
So what should you do with all this waste when Christmas is over?
  • Regular wrapping paper goes in your yellow top recycling bin, stickytape is fine.
  • Cellophane can be recycled through the REDcycle program with collection bins available at Coles and Woolworths.
  • Metallic or foil based wrapping paper cannot be recycled, and will need to go in your general waste bin.
  • Cardboard packaging can be recycled through either your yellow top recycling bin or for free at Tamala Park.
  • Polystyrene packaging can be recycled at Tamala Park for free.
And it’s not just packaging that creates waste that needs to go somewhere.
Electronics. Whether your Christmas lights have stopped working or the kids have got new electronic gadgets to replace their old ones, these items shouldn’t be placed in your general waste bin as they can contain toxic materials. There are also many valuable materials used in them that can be recycled. If your old electronics are still in good working order but you don’t want them anymore, sell them or donate them. If they are broken, Tamala Park accepts e-waste for free.  

Batteries. When you’re done with them, don’t bin them. As with electronics, some batteries contain toxic chemicals and others contain valuable materials. Drop them off to a collection point to be recycled. Tamala Park accepts batteries and also hosts around 60 other collection points around Perth including libraries, hardware stores, and shopping centres. Other drop off locations can be found through Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website.
Disposable plastic plates, cups and cutlery. Unfortunately these cannot be recycled. They need to go straight into your general waste bin.
Perhaps next year consider making a few changes to decrease your waste footprint. Here's some ideas:
  • Don’t use metallic or foil based wrapping paper.
  • Wrap gifts with fabric, preferably using items you already have that can be reused by the recipients such as a tea towel or scarf. The Japanese art of fabric wrapping, Furoshiki, makes your wrapped gift extra special!   
  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable.
  • Skip the plastic plates, cups and cutlery and choose reusable or compostable.
  • Borrow or hire what you need for a party rather than buying it.
  • Freeze any leftover food and whatever can’t be eaten, could go into a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bin instead of into general waste.
  • Buy less and make more.
  • Choose ‘experience’ gifts.
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