Unwrapping recycling this Christmas

Date published: 22 December 2020

Christmas will soon be here and with it mounds of wrapping paper, boxes that once held gifts, and meals shared with the family and friends.

Residents can play a small part in making Christmas sustainable this year by knowing what can and can’t make it into the yellow bin.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said it was easy to make Christmas more sustainable at home, with small changes to everyday habits.

“There are plenty of little ways we can make Christmas sustainable at home, such as making sure we’re recycling correctly and not contaminating our waste at home,” Cr Cook said.

“We will all go through lots of wrapping paper at home, and that is something that we can pop into our recycling bins, even if it has small amounts of foil or sparkles.

“Residents that end up with excess cardboard and wrapping paper over Christmas can drop it off, and any other recyclables, at our waste facilities for free.”

Cr Cook said it’s important that residents were aware of the materials that are allowed in the recycling bin as contamination could be a hazard to staff at the waste facilities.

“There are six items that can go in our recycling bins at home, these are paper, cardboard, hard plastic food & drink containers, glass jars and bottles, steel tins and aluminium cans.

“It’s important that any recyclable food containers are rinsed before being put in the recycling to avoid any contamination of the recyclable materials.

“Residents also should make sure that no long items that are prone to tangling, such as Christmas lights, go into the recycling bin as they can damage machinery and put staff at risk.”

Townsville’s bins are collected 365 days a year and residents should aim to have their bins out by 6am on their normal collection day over Christmas.

Other ways of going sustainable this Christmas include shopping locally, avoid items that use excess packaging, buy second-hand, and look at gifting experiences rather than items.