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Great Yarmouth Borough Council's top recycling tips to help residents have a greener festive period

PLEASE make sure you continue to separate your waste and "recycle right" over the festive period - that is the message from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, which is reminding residents of what can and can't be put in the green recycling bins.

Once all the food has been devoured, the presents unwrapped and the tree taken down, there is always lots of waste packaging and other unwanted or old items. However, much of it can be recycled or, if it's still useable, given to local charities.

You can recycle glass jars and bottles, plastic food pots, tubs and food trays, aluminium foil and foil trays, juice and soup cartons, Christmas cards, envelopes and even wrapping paper. Just make sure it's clean, dry and don't bag it when it goes into your green bin.

But nappies, clothing, food waste, electricals, paper towels and tissues cannot go into your green bin.

With wrapping paper that's past re-use, simply remove any sticky tape and do the "Scrunch Test". If it holds its shape when you scrunch it into a ball then it's good to recycle.

You can also recycle your real Christmas trees at the Household Recycling Centre, at Caister-on-Sea, open 9am to 4pm every day except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Members of the garden waste kerbside collection scheme can chop up their real Christmas trees and put them in their brown bin. Please do not put trees in black or green bins.

Most charity shops accept donations of unwanted presents and clothing. Residents lucky enough to get new electrical equipment for Christmas should not just throw away their old equipment in the bin. If it is still usable, there are charity shops that are able to PAT test these for resale. Equipment at the end of its life should be taken to the Household Recycling Centre.

Home-compost waste food wherever possible. When buying food for Christmas, remember to only buy what is needed in order to reduce food waste and save money. The Love Food Hate Waste website has lots of recipe ideas to use up any leftovers.

There are changes to refuse collection days over the festive period, with some collections earlier and some later. Please check the collection days carefully and present your bin by 6.30am on the revised day of collection. The list of revised collection dates and a reminder of what can and can't be recycled are available on the council's website at

Cllr Carl Smith, chairman of the environment committee, said: "Reducing, reusing and recycling are the cornerstones of minimising our collective impact on the environment, which remains important to remember throughout the year, including at Christmas and New Year when waste increases nationwide.

"Recycling right is everyone's responsibility and Great Yarmouth's rate for dry recycling is in line with other Norfolk districts. This is positive but we continue to work closely with other councils, through the Norfolk Waste Partnership, to take a county-wide approach to encouraging more people to recycle right, and we encourage everyone to remind themselves of the rules this festive season and to play their part. 

"Contamination remains an issue across the county, with people putting the wrong waste items into their recycling bins. This year, through targeting areas where recycling contamination levels in the borough were higher than expected, we have reduced contamination in those areas from 20 per cent to 10 per cent within a year. That's well below the Norfolk average of 14 per cent and I would like to thank the residents and staff who have contributed to this success."

Last modified on 10 May 2023

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