Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Seasonal Recycling: what to do with Christmas trees & extra waste

We produce around 30% more waste over the festive period.

A great deal of this is food, along with an estimated 83 km2 of wrapping paper, 13000 tonnes of glass and 250 tonnes of Christmas trees.

However, this can be reduced, reused and recycled to help you save money. Here are a few handy tips:
  • Wrapping paper is great to use for streak-free window cleaning, origami, or shredded up as protective packaging.
  • Cards can be reused as gift tags, tree decorations or craft projects.
  • Christmas tree needles can be used as pot pourri, to stuff pin cushions - or can even be used in cooking
Changes to collections over the Christmas and New Year period

There will be changes to the collection days over the Christmas and New Year period. Collections of household waste, recycling, food and garden waste will be affected.

Normal collection dayRevised collection day
Monday, 24 DecemberNo change
Tueday, 25 DecemberThursday, 27 December
Wednesday, 26 DecemberFriday, 28 December
Thursday, 27 DecemberSaturday, 29 December
Friday, 28 DecemberSunday, 30 December
Monday, 31 DecemberNo change
Tuesday, 1 JanuaryWednesday, 2 January
Wednesday, 2 JanuaryThursday, 3 January
Thursday, 3 JnauaryFriday, 4 January
Friday 4 JanuarySaturday, 5 January

Collections return to normal during the week commencing 7 January 2013.
The Council also offer FREE ChristmasTree Collections from 7 January up until 25 January for trees to start a new life as compost.

Recycling reduces landfill disposal costs

Taxpayers in Tower Hamlets pay over £1,000,000 per year landfilling waste that could have been recycled.

Two examples of what NOT to include in the pink bags/purple bins

Aluminium foil
  • Foil such as pie cases, milk bottle tops or kitchen foil is a lower quality to aluminium cans
  • it reduces the quality of recycled aluminium if it is processed with the cans 
  • Polystyrene is a very low quality type of plastic. 
  • This makes it difficult to recycle and there are very few recycling plants that can accept it for recycling.

All of the following materials can be recycled in the pink sacks and purple recycling bins:
  • Glass bottles and jars (all colours)
  • Food and drink cans
  • Plastic tubs, pots and bottles (e.g. drink bottles, shampoo bottles, yoghurt pots and fruit punnets)
  • Cardboard (e.g. brown boxes, greeting cards and cereal boxes)
  • Paper (e.g. newspapers and magazines, printer paper, envelopes, and telephone directories)
  • Cartons (e.g. fruit juice, dairy and soup cartons)
  • Empty aerosol canisters
Please rinse out containers

MERA visited the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Southwark last week. It was an eye opener!  A number of sophisticated machines sort materials into paper, plastic, juice cartons, cans, glass etc.

But the amount of contamination was shocking!

So please follow the simple guidelines above as to what can go into the pink sacks and purple bins - and spare a thought for the people who are manually sorting through all our stuff!

Link to short films of the sorting process.

Any doubts or questions please get in touch.

You can also find links to information about Tower Hamlets Waste Management and Recycling in the side column

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