The festive season is a time of year when we tend to produce quite a lot of extra waste; whether it’s food, the packaging and presents we buy, or recycling.

We’re putting out email bulletins in the build-up to Christmas and the new year which you can sign up for now. Below is a summary of the information in those bulletins.

5 Christmas food waste tips

Every week, the average household wastes around 3kg of food (the weight of about six loaves of bread) and this tends to be worse over the Christmas period. The average UK family throws away £730 of uneaten food a year, and with increasing food costs, this figure is only going up.

To save food and money, you can:

  1. Plan your meals so you buy only what you need. The Food Standards Agency has tips on Christmas food hygiene.
  2. Sort your storage by making sure your fridge is below 5 degrees Celsius and considering buying frozen fruit and vegetables so you throw less away.
  3. Know your dates - make sure you meet your use by dates and be more flexible with best before.
  4. Perfect your portions by planning what you eat and not overloading your guests with food!
  5. Get creative by making other meals from any food you have left after the big day.

For more tips on saving food, visit Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living pages.

Reducing present waste

You can reduce the amount that is thrown away this Christmas and support the local economy by:

  • Buying locally reduces the distance that gifts travel around the country or the world, it will also support local jobs and keep the money you spend in the local area.
  • Buying second-hand gifts from local charity shops will help support a good cause and reduce the demand for new things.
  • Minimising the packaging you buy will reduce the amount you need to throw away. You could also buy plastic-free Christmas crackers or make them from a kit and put useful gifts in them.

Get yourself on Santa’s recycling nice list

Putting the right things in your recycling is sure to impress the big guy.

Make sure anything you recycle is clean, dry and loose.

Nice (put these in your recycling bin)

  • Tins and cans – give them a rinse out so they don’t mess up other recycling.
  • Paper – like greeting cards (if they’re not plasticky) and envelopes.
  • Cardboard – take off any sticky tape that you can and remove plastic windows.
  • Plastic bottles – other plastics are naughty!
  • Glass bottles – in your glass box or local bottle bank.
  • Empty aerosol spray cans – such as deodorant cans and air freshener sprays. Not camping gas or cans with a hazard symbol (an orange and black skull and crossbones).

Naughty (this stuff shouldn’t go in your recycling bin)

  • Plastics that aren’t bottles – if it's not bottle shaped, it will be rejected by Hampshire County Council's recycling machines, so put plastic packaging in your refuse (green) bin.
  • Batteries – these can be a hazard if put in your bin and have started fires at tips and in the back of bin lorries. You can dispose of them at a Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) which is run by HCC, or you may be able to take them back to the shop where you bought them.
  • Gift wrap – do the wrapping paper scrunch test to see if you can recycle it. If it springs back, it is likely to contain plastic and cannot be recycled. Remember, all wrapping paper containing glitter or foil – or if it still has sticky tape still attached – cannot be recycled! 
  • Foam packaging – this needs to go in your refuse (green) bin.
  • Foil – can’t go into your recycling (black) bin but can be recycled at HWRCs.

Remember, our crews will take any excess recycling on your collection day as long as it’s in a dry cardboard box.

Bin collection changes over Christmas and New Year