Dreaming of a Green Christmas

HOUSEHOLDS are being encouraged to enjoy a greener Christmas with less waste and more recycling this year.

Families generate an average of 30 per cent more waste over the festive period but about 70 per cent of that rubbish can be recycled. Piles of cardboard packaging, wrapping paper and empty jars and bottles can build up over the holidays so it is even more important to think before you bin. All loose recyclable items can be put in your red bin or box, including plastic pots, tubs and trays; food and drink cartons; clean foil and foil trays; plastic bottles; tins and cans; empty aerosol cans and paper and card. But no plastic bags thank you. The Council launched the #ReadingDoes campaign earlier this year to make it easier for residents to recycle, with the aim of achieving 50 per cent recycling in the borough. The Waste and Recycling pages on the Council’s website have been updated to make it simpler to check what items can be recycled (https://www.reading.gov.uk/waste) and the free re3cyclopedia app can also be downloaded. As usual, bin collection days will change over the holiday period and it is possible to check the revised dates at: www.reading.gov.uk/bindates or using the re3cyclopedia app. On the first collection after Christmas, households can leave out an extra bag of rubbish next to their grey bin and any additional recycling can be left in a cardboard box next to their red bin. It would help us recycle more if you can try to keep this additional recycling material dry. Glass bottles and jars can be taken to the many bring banks located around the borough and people are able to find their nearest ones on the council’s waste website and on the re3cyclopedia app. Garden waste collections will pause for the festive season, stopping on Friday 20th December and restarting on Monday 6th January. The Recycling Centre, in Island Road, Reading, will be open between 8am and 6pm over the festive period except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day when it will be closed. Also, it will be open between 8am-4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. More food than usual can end up being thrown away at Christmas and there are lots of tips and advice to avoid waste at: https://re3.fccenvironment.co.uk/love-food-hate-waste/. The Council will be introducing new weekly food waste collections in autumn 2020 and more information can be found at: https://www.reading.gov.uk/article/12640/Food-waste-collection. Households can make room for their new gifts by donating unwanted items, such as clothes and toys, to their local charity shops. Textiles and clothing that do not make it to charity can be deposited in nearby textile banks, rather than in household grey or red bins.

Cllr Sophia James, Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:

“It is easy for rubbish to build up at home around the festive period but the good news is that most of it can be recycled. “There can be a lot of distractions at Christmas but taking a moment to think about how you dispose of your waste can prevent your grey bin getting full with items which could be in your recycling bin. “It is easy to check what can be recycled at https://www.reading.gov.uk/waste and on the re3cyclopedia app, where you can also find your nearest bring banks to take your empty glass bottles and jars.”

Christmas Tree Recycling

The Council will be operating Christmas tree collection centres across the borough between January 4th and January 20th. People can take their unwanted trees to the designated areas located in the car parks at: Albert Road Recreation Ground, Clayfield Copse; Hills Meadow; Rivermead Leisure Centre; Kensington Road Recreation Ground; Prospect Park; Meadway Recreation Ground; Tilehurst Allotments in Armour Hill; Palmer Park Sports Stadium; Whitley Wood Recreational Ground and South Reading Leisure Centre in Northumberland Avenue. There will be no collection point at Mapledurham Playing Fields this year due to resurfacing work in the car park but an alternative collection point is available at Albert Road Recreation Ground. Do not worry if you see a pile of trees build up at any location, they will be collected, chipped and used in range of landscaping schemes across the borough. Residents who subscribe to the garden waste collection scheme can chop up their real Christmas tree and put it in their green bin.