Smart Christmas Recycling Tips

It happens year after year: Christmas comes around, and we produce a mountain of waste. After having all the family over, the exchanging of gifts, and all the other usual Christmas activities, we’re usually left with an increased amount of waste, but not really sure what to do with it all.

These days, it pays to be environmentally friendly, and so, in this case, we ought to recycle as much of our Christmas rubbish as possible. However, that means we need to know what can or can’t be recycled. Given the amount of confusion regarding this topic over the years, we’re here to set the record straight with our smart recycling tips.

Hopefully, with this upcoming Christmas, you can make it a greener one than it was last year.

Can All Wrapping Paper be Recycled?

Even though it has ‘paper’ in its name, and for this reason, many of us think that all wrapping paper can be recycled, sadly not all of it can be. Specifically, any foil wrapping or any kind of wrapping paper that is shiny with foil elements cannot be recycled. This also applies to any shiny bows or ribbons, which cannot be recycled either.

In this case, before you go out and buy your wrapping paper, and then wrap your gifts, you could consider buying plain paper. When wrapping your gifts leave the bows and ribbons. Then, you can recycle the paper later. You can also ask in the store where you buy your wrapping paper from if it is recyclable, as the manufacturer should be providing this information.

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint this year, then consider buying recyclable wrapping paper only. Any other kinds will have to go into the regular bin, unfortunately.

Opened wrapping paper

Is All Disposable Tableware Recyclable?

It is very common for us at this time of year to buy single-use, disposable tableware for Christmas meals. Not only might we not have enough tableware to accommodate everyone, but we might not also have time to clean up after all of our guests either, especially if it is a larger Christmas party.

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but any paper or cardboard tableware, such as plates, cups, napkins, and tablecloths are not recyclable once they have been soiled with food. Before you put them straight into the bin, consider placing them on a compost heap. Soiled cardboard and paper tableware are not recyclable, but they are biodegradable.

When it comes to plastic tableware such as cups, plates, and cutlery, they usually can be recycled – but depending on the type of plastic they are manufactured from. Plastic goods should be marked with a number, or a code, which demarcates if it can be recycled or not. As a leading provider of skip bin hire in Perth, we also specialise in waste recycling collections, and we’ll be able to advise you on which kind of plastic is recyclable.

Can I Recycle Cardboard Boxes?

The short answer is, yes, you can recycle cardboard. If you hire a skip bin from us, we suggest that you break boxes down and flatten them before placing them into the bin, so that they take up less space. However, before you recycle any cardboard boxes, you should consider keeping them for reuse.

Most Christmas presents we receive will come in a box of some description, and they’re quite a handy size for storing other things in your home – so worth keeping throughout the year. However, if you don’t have enough space in your home, then thankfully these boxes can be recycled if you wish to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner.

Can I Recycle All Plastic Bags?

There is a myth about plastic bags that needs to be cleared up. Some people believe you can recycle plastic bags, and so throw them in with other recyclable plastics, whereas other people think that it is impossible to recycle plastic bags and put them straight into the regular waste bin. The fact is that plastic bags usually can be recycled, however, they just require a different process to other kinds of plastic, and so have to be recycled separately.

Plastic bags can clog up recycling systems and are expensive to recycle. Before trying to recycle them, consider keeping them and reusing them. If you really don’t feel you have a need for surplus plastic shopping bags, then consider giving them back to the shop you got them from, who may be happy to pass onto another customer for reuse.

Why Are Some Things Rejected from Being Recycled?

Even though the majority of a product may be recyclable, if they are attached to something that cannot be recycled then it will be rejected. For example, if there is something made from plastic but it is still attached to some metal or wires, or contains batteries inside.

Metal can be recycled, but not in the same process as plastic. Batteries must be disposed of separately. This means if you have something made predominantly of plastic and you want to recycle it, you should take it apart for recycling and dispose of it accordingly.

Can All Plastics that Have the Recycling Symbol be Recycled?

Most people who see the recycling symbol – a triangle consisting of three curved arrows – make the assumption that the product must be recyclable. This is essentially true, however, it largely depends on how it is coded and whether there are facilities available that can recycle the kind of plastic. As specialists in waste recycling services, you can check with us to see if your plastic products can be collected for recycling.

If you’d like to talk to us about hiring a skip or our waste recycling services during this Christmas period, please call us now on (08) 9249 1100. West Bin has been a WA owned and operated company for 28 years now, and will be glad to assist you. Alternatively, you can drop us a line through the contact page on our website, and we’ll get back to you.

Contact Us