Bins, rubbish and recycling Recycling at Christmas


You can recycle your real Christmas tree in January. Removing any lights or decorations and also the wooden base or stand (the wooden bases are too solid to process in our machines). All you have to do is:

Wrapping paper and greeting cards

You can recycle most greetings cards and wrapping paper in your blue paper and card bin. You can also recycle them at your local Recycling Centre.


  • You can only recycle greetings cards and wrapping paper if they’re entirely made out of paper. To find out if the wrapping is made of paper, try to scrunch it into a ball. If it stays scrunched, it can be recycled
  • Some wrapping paper is made out of foil, has a plastic coating, or includes non-paper decorations like glitter, gold or silver coloured shapes, and other plastics. None of these can be recycled. You can tear off any glittery parts or non-paper decorations and put them in your grey general waste bin
  • Make sure you also remove any bows or ribbons before recycling your wrapping paper.


Your Christmas food leftovers, including meat bones, can be put in your green bin, container or box. Please make sure all packaging is removed.

Don't forget that the foil trays from pies can be recycled with any other foil in your brown recycling bin.

Cardboard boxes

These should be put in your blue recycling bin. Please remove all plastic packaging, bubble wrap and polystyrene first, and put those items in your grey general waste bin.

Electrical items can't be recycled

  • Christmas tree lights, cables and other electrical items should be taken to your local recycling centre
  • Batteries should not be placed in any of your bins. They can be taken to most supermarkets and recycling shops.

Pupils at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School in Newton Heath offer some tips about recycling this Christmas:

Read a transcript of the video

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