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My Norwich

What to recycle at Christmas time

There’s so much that can be recycled at Christmas time - and everyone can get involved in making sure as much as possible is diverted from the rubbish. From scrunch testing your wrapping paper to chopping up your Christmas tree, here’s our festive guide to getting the right thing in the right bin: 

Wrapping paper 

‘Scrunch it to sort it’ is the rule when recycling wrapping paper. Scrunch your wrapping paper up into a ball. If it stays loosely in a ball, you can recycle it, but if it springs out of shape, it has too much plastic content and cannot be recycled. 

Don’t forget to remove any sticky tape, ribbons or bows from wrapping paper that can be recycled. 

Christmas trees 

If you subscribe to our garden waste collection service, you can chop up any real Christmas trees and put them into your garden bin, making sure the lid closes. 

Real Christmas trees can also be taken to your local recycling centre – Norwich North or Norwich South. Visit Norfolk County Council’s website for more details and opening times. 

Recycle me 

  • Advent calendars – just separate the plastic insert, any foil and the cardboard box
  • Aluminium baking trays
  • Biscuit boxes and inner trays
  • Cardboard, including boxes. If you have you have lots, flatten to fit more in your recycling bin or take to your local recycling centre
  • Foil from your turkey (this must be clean)
  • Christmas cards (no glitter please)
  • Food pots, tubs and trays 
  • Glass bottles
  • Glass jars - lids can be left on
  • Mince pie packaging – box, plastic tray and foil tins
  • Plastic bottles including drinks, cleaning products, personal care/beauty and medication
  • Aerosols 
  • Wrapping paper – make sure you carry out the ‘scrunch test’ first

Don’t forget!

Food leftovers (including bones) can go into your food waste bin. If you aren’t signed up for this service yet, you can do so on our replacement bin pages

Textiles, small electricals and batteries can be left in separate, standard-sized plastic bag next to your bin on collection day and these will be picked up by our crews for recycling. Please don’t put batteries in your bin, as they can cause fires in the lorries/at the recycling centre. Supermarkets also have battery recycling bins. 

Not for recycling 

  • Soft plastics – including crisp packets, sweet wrappers, plastic bags, cling film and cellophane
  • Hard plastics – toys or broken garden furniture, plant pots and polystyrene
  • Sharps items – please dispose of any sharps responsibly
  • Tissues, baby wipes and kitchen wipes
  • Nappies 
  • Cutlery, crockery, pots and pans – these cannot be recycled at home, but can be taken to your local recycling centre
  • Glass cookware and ovenware, drinking glasses or ceramics


Got a gift you won’t use? Why not donate it to a charity shop or see if a friend or family member could use it? You could list it on a selling site or give it away for free. 

If you are having a clear out, bulky items such as furniture can go to your local recycling centre or picked up by our (paid for) bulky waste collection service. There are also some charities which will collect your furniture for free. Please contact them to check in advance. 

The reuse pages of our website have details of what you can do with unwanted items.;

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