Published on 29th November 2019

Scrunched wrapping paper

Top tips for a green Christmas!

Remember to check revised bin collection dates over the festive period

A green, environmentally friendly Christmas takes a little planning and now’s the time. Making informed choices in the shops can mean less waste after the festive season.

Wrapping paper and Christmas cards

Items containing foil or glitter cannot be recycled locally so wrapping paper and Christmas cards which do not contain these types of decorations are much better for the environment and a greener choice at the checkout. Wrapping paper should be able to pass the ‘scrunch’ test; if it can be scrunched up and stays scrunched, it can go into the kerbside box. Greeting cards can go into the blue cardboard bag, taken to a bring site or the recycling centre, providing they also do not contain foil or glitter.

Recycle those old Christmas lights

Residents can recycle unwanted or broken Christmas lights by popping them in to a tied carrier bag and then into a recycling boxes for collection. They can also be taken to the Swindon Road recycling centre.

New recycling arrangements for trees

With the climate emergency now a priority for the council, it’s important to make sure that Christmas trees are composted locally, so residents are encouraged to take their Christmas tree to one of the following drop off points:

  • From 6 to 20 January 2020, in the following locations around Cheltenham:
    • Cheltenham Racecourse – New Barn Lane
    • Cheltenham Football Club – Whaddon Road
    • Old Patesians RFC – Everest Road
    • Cheltenham B&Q – Hatherley Lane

Christmas tree drop off points will have a designated area marked off with cones and a sign. The trees will be taken away for composting.

Garden waste customers may leave their tree out with their garden waste bin on their first collection after 20 January 2020 so that it can be collected. Remember there are no garden waste collections between 23 December 2019 and 17 January 2020.

For those residents not subscribed to the garden waste service, Ubico Ltd will collect Christmas trees from 20 January 2020 from the kerbside. Residents can check the website for the garden waste collections in their area and put their tree out on the kerbside on the day it is collected in their road. If a garden waste vehicle does not go into the street, the tree can be left out by the bin on the next refuse collection, but it will be disposed of as waste and will not be recycled. Alternatively residents can take their tree to the Swindon Road recycling centre or one of the four locations listed above between 6 to 20 January.

Christmas trees should be free of lights, decorations, pots or stands and trees up to five feet or one and a half metres tall can be left out whole. Trees larger than this need to be cut down before being put out for collection.

Aiming for zero food waste

Residents are encouraged to try to buy only the amount that will be eaten and not to be tempted with multi-buy offers which can lead to food waste. If there are food leftovers, ‘souper trouper’ recipes can be found at and residents can also pick up a recipe card from the Municipal offices. Otherwise, leftovers can be home composted  or popped in to the food waste caddy along with vegetable peelings and any other cooked or uncooked food. Carrier bags can be re-used to line food waste caddies. Customers with more food waste than normal, you can put both your small and large caddies out for collection.

Karen Watson, client manager for environmental services said: ‘’We can all make environmentally friendly choices with simple swaps to make sure that we are buying less or spending money on items which can be recycled. At Christmas there is more to recycle than any other time of the year, so we need to try to keep as much out of the refuse bin as possible. With so many items being recycled at kerbside, it really is simple for us to all do our bit in Cheltenham.

‘’This Christmas, please remember to separate your recycling by using your kerbside boxes and blue cardboard bags. Pre-sorting your recycling will ensure it remains good quality and helps to speed up collections, reducing delays for other road users.’’

Residents are reminded to check the revised calendar for waste and recycling collections over the Christmas period at

For press enquiries, contact: Katie Sandey, communications and web team leader, 01242 264231 or email [email protected]