Waste and recycling over the Christmas and New Year period

National figures suggest that we create up to 30% more waste over the Christmas period. In our ongoing efforts to increase Swindon’s recycling rates, we will be bringing you extra services to help you recycle all your additional Christmas waste. There may also be changes to your standard services.

The festive season is full of fantastic opportunities to think about the waste we produce and the steps we can take to reduce our impact on our environment.

Most of the waste we produce at this time of year, such as wrapping paper, Christmas cards, glass bottles and metal cans can be recycled. Making a few changes to your recycling habits and making use of the recycling services available to you will help you to enjoy a merrier, greener Christmas:

Make sure you have enough recycling boxes

All households are entitled to put out as many recycling boxes as they need. If you would like more boxes, you can order them from us

To make sure you have your boxes in time for Christmas, choose to collect them rather than having them delivered when ordering.

We're collecting more recycling over the festive period

From mid-Monday, 16 December 2019 to Friday, 31 January 2020, our crews will be collecting additional recycling, as long as it is presented in sturdy containers. If you have excess cardboard, please break it down into manageable pieces and bundle it neatly next to your recycling boxes for collection. Your additional recyclable materials may be collected by a second vehicle at a different time. Please note we will not be collecting additional non-recyclable waste.

Visit the HWRC

If you have excess waste or recycling that you can't store between collections, you can take it to the household waste recycling centre (HWRC). The HWRC is open every day except:

  • Wednesdays (it is closed every Wednesday)
  • Christmas Day (closed all day)
  • Boxing Day (closed all day)
  • New Year's Day (closed all day)

Put your Christmas tree out for recycling

Our crews will be collecting real Christmas trees (not artificial ones) from Monday, 6 January until the end of the month.

Christmas trees will be collected on one of the days that we regularly collect your garden waste in your area. You can check your garden waste collection day on our online calendar. If you are not a garden waste subscriber, your collection day will appear in brackets on the list of collections at the top of the calendar page.

You need to remove all lights and decorations, and be sure that the tree can be safely lifted by two people. If the tree is very large, you should cut it into manageable pieces.

To have your tree collected, you should make sure it is clearly visible from the road at the nearest point to the public highway

Reduce waste where you can

We have lots of tips and tricks to help you waste less and recycle more. Here are some extra Christmassy ones:

  • 226,800 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away at Christmas. That’s enough to stretch nine times around the world. This Christmas, wrap your presents in old newspaper or use gift bags. Even better still, gift your loved ones experiences rather than presents.
  • If gift wrapping alternatives don’t appeal to you, buy recyclable wrapping paper. A lot of people don't know that you can't recycle wrapping paper with film, plastic, glitter or fabric on it. To check your wrapping paper is recyclable, do the scrunch test. If it scrunches, it's recyclable. If it springs back, it isn’t. Watch Santa put it to the test:
  • Santa isn’t a fan of plastic gift bows and gift tags. Most gift wrapping accessories aren't recyclable and are used only once. Decorate your gifts with pinecones and leaves, then compost them once you're finished.
  • Natural decorations are both beautiful and biodegradable. Forage in your garden or your local surroundings for flowers, pine cones, dried fruit, berries, feathers, cinnamon sticks and drift wood. Create ornaments that you can use again or compost them into soil improver at the end of the festive period.

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