This Christmas reduce, reuse and recycle right!

Hounslow Council is reminding residents to keep up their environmental efforts over the festive season, to cut down on seasonal waste and recycle right!

Published: Monday, 10th December 2018

Christmas recycling

Christmas can often be a time of indulgence and after the gifts are unwrapped and the food is eaten, the festivities can leave us with a lot of waste. Hounslow Council wants to help residents do the right thing with that waste and has issued advice which can be found on Hounslow Council's website;, pp 20-21 of the Christmas edition of Hounslow Matters and on specially commissioned bin hangers which are being attached to all residual waste wheelie bins across the borough this week.

Collection days will change temporarily over Christmas and the New Year period. Full details are on the council's webpage too. The usual collection schedule will resume on Monday 7 January.

The festive period presents its own challenges as to what can and cannot be recycled e.g. Did you know that you can’t recycle foil wrapping? The same goes for seasonal gift wrap or cards with glitter or embellishments. If in doubt, do the scrunch test – scrunch some of the wrapping in your hand. If it bounces back – it can’t be recycled. If it doesn’t, it can be recycled. Remove any sticky tape and decorations before placing in your blue recycling box. Be careful too to remove any plastic sections from packaging e.g. see-through panels on the front of toy packaging. These can’t be recycled, but we definitely want the cardboard, recyclable sections. Anyone who orders items online will find they have plenty of cardboard at this time of year, so please recycle that too. All we ask is that you flatten it and break down if necessary so that it doesn’t exceed 70cm x 70cm – required to fit through the slot on the recycling truck.

If you acquire new gadgets and small electrical items (WEEE) such as kettles, alarm clocks, electric shavers this Christmas – we will collect your unwanted WEEE items for recycling, but please put in a separate bag, clearly marked and place alongside your recycling on collection day. Be sure that batteries are not included with your recycling as these can cause fires at our depot. Instead, please take them to your local Household Reuse and Recycling Centre or to a collection point at a supermarket, DIY store or local shop.

Reduce your food waste this Christmas by ensuring your fridge is set to the right temperature. As many models of fridge don’t have a temperature display, Love Food Hate Waste has developed an app called to enable the public to regulate their fridges ensuring they are set below 5°C, at which temperature food will last on average for three days longer. also has lots of recipe ideas for what to do with your Christmas leftovers. For all food you can’t reuse, please recycle it in your food caddy and leave out with your recycling. If you don’t have a food caddy, you can order one online at:

Once the festive period has passed, we will collect your Christmas trees (real ones of course!) during weeks beginning he 7 & 14 January – after removing all decorations, just leave your tree out on the relevant day for collection - please see schedule on our webpage: Alternatively, you can drop off your Christmas tree throughout the month of January to the designated locations at the following parks; Hanworth Air Park, Redlees park, Hounslow Heath and Bedfont Lakes. Details of precise locations for the drop-off points are also on our webpage.

Councillor Guy Lambert, Cabinet Member for Recycling at Hounslow Council said:

“Christmas and the New Year is a busy time for many, so we’re making it as easy as possible for people to understand how they can recycle efficiently by providing clear guidance on what can and can’t be recycled and offering a free Christmas tree collection service.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to residents for their recycling efforts this year. We want to make it easier for our residents to waste less and recycle more and will be launching a number of initiatives shortly including a reviewed bulky waste collection service and measures to help people living in flats to recycle more.

“Our Materials Handling Centre at Southall Lane has been operating for just over a year now and has enabled us to gain a premium for the recyclable waste produced in the borough, which is processed in this country, ensuring that we are not dumping our waste abroad. The revenue gained is then reinvested back into the borough to offset the cost of disposing of our residual waste.  Remember, no waste in Hounslow goes to landfill, but for every tonne of recycling we produce, it saves the council £100 - so please continue to keep recycling.

“The world has woken up to the detrimental environmental impact of waste, especially plastics and I know that most of our residents want to do the right thing.  So just remember – Hounslow recycles –  We do because it matters!”

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