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Christmas rubbish and recycling

Collection information 

As in previous years, there will be no waste and recycling collections on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Collections due on Christmas Day:

  • Rubbish due to be collected on Christmas Day will be collected on Wednesday 1 January.
  • Recycling due to be collected on Christmas Day will be collected on Saturday 21 December.
  • Garden waste due to be collected on Christmas Day will be collected on Saturday 21 December.

Collections due on Boxing Day:

  • Rubbish due to be collected on Boxing Day will be collected on Thursday 2 January.
  • Recycling due to be collected on Boxing Day will be collected on Saturday 28 December.
  • Garden waste due to be collected on Boxing Day will be collected on Saturday 28 December.

We will collect your waste and recycling as usual if your collection is due on any other day of the week over the Christmas period.

It might be that the time of collection is earlier or later than usual, but as long as you have your bins and recycling (and garden waste if you subscribe to this service) out by 7am, we'll collect as usual.

Are Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) open over the Christmas period?

Yes - the only days our HWRCs close are on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. With these exceptions, the centres are open seven days a week from 9am to 4pm.

What can I recycle?

With extra rubbish at Christmas, you may wonder what you can and can’t recycle.  

This service is for residential properties only

We will be collecting non-artificial Christmas trees (up to 6ft in height) on normal collection days in the weeks beginning Monday 6 January and Monday 13 January. Collections will be made on your normal collection day on the opposite week to your recycling during this fortnight only; so if your recycling is being collected on Friday 17 January, you need to leave your tree out with your rubbish on Friday 10 January for free collection.

Please note that the Christmas trees will be collected by a separate crew for shredding and composting so don’t worry if your rubbish is collected and your tree is still there – the other crew will be along later in the day to pick it up.

There are various charity collections for Christmas cards.  You can also put them in your cardboard sack as part of your household cardboard recycling collection.

Envelopes can go in your household recycling collection.  White envelopes should go into the paper sack, coloured or brown envelopes should go with the cardboard.

We can take wrapping paper that is not coated with foil or plastic in your household recycling collection.  Please put all non-shiny wrapping paper in the paper sack, and make sure you remove any sticky tape, string or ribbons.

To check if your wrapping paper is suitable for recycling simply carry out the scrunch test: screw a piece of paper up in the palm of your hand, if it stays scrunched you can recycle it, if it unfolds itself we can't.

Over Christmas there are a lot of extra cardboard boxes. Flatten the boxes and put them in the orange cardboard bag.

If the boxes are too big, flat pack them, tie them in a bundle and put them out next to your recycling. If you have very large amounts of cardboard, you can either take it to your local household waste and recycling centre or put it out for the kerbside collection over a couple of weeks.

Don' forget we can recycle plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays - for example:

  • Sweet and biscuit tins
  • Mince pie trays (Not black)
  • Clotted cream pots
  • Brandy sauce pots
  • Christmas pudding tubs

Put scrunched up tin foil into the sack for plastics and cans.

Don't forget you can recycle:

  • Mince pie trays
  • Single use foil trays
  • Sheet foil from covering your turkey
  • Foil sweet and cake wrappers

Many of us tend to over cater at Christmas, and this shows in the amount of rubbish in the New Year.

The best way to reduce food waste is to write a shopping list and stick to it. Think about how many people you will be feeding and just buy enough for them. Remember, if you don’t like sprouts, you don’t have to buy them!

Reducing Christmas waste

This year, more and more people in Cornwall are thinking about ways in which they can reduce the amount of rubbish they rack up at Christmas. Have a look at our Christmas waste reduction page to find out how you can too.

Waste free Christmas Presents

Last January (2019) households across Cornwall threw away an extra 1,841 tonnes of ‘stuff’ - that is 14% more compared with the monthly average.

This year why not consider giving time not tat? 

A few ideas of what you can give include:

  • A days fishing or sea safari 
  • Visit to an attraction
  • High tea at a hotel
  • Dinner at your favourite restaurant
  • Spa day
  • Charity donation/ purchase (sponsor a donkey/ Toilet Twinning)
  • Membership of local theatre
  • Panto tickets
  • Online gaming vouchers
  • Day trip on the train
  • Experience days
  • Walk and pasty