Published on 9th December 2022

Recycling presented at kerbside

With Christmas fast approaching, please remember that Christmas and New Year waste collection dates will change.

At this time of year, many households produce more waste and recycling from wrapping paper, cards and other gift packaging. You can recycle these materials yourself at home, or by using our waste and recycling services.

Councillor Iain Dobie, cabinet member for clean and green environment said: During Christmas time, extra waste can build in our bins with excess packaging from gifts, wrapping paper and cards. Many of these items can be recycled or even used again. Of course some items are non-recyclable and will have to go into the general waste, but if we can, let’s remember to recycle much as possible. 

“The originally published Christmas and New Year collection dates have changed this year for operational and staffing reasons so I would urge residents to check the council website for the up to date collection schedule.”

Below are the Christmas and New Year dates for collection. Please note that in some areas refuse and recycling collections take place as early as 7am so please have your rubbish presented at that time.

Christmas and New Year bank holiday collection changes
Normal collection day Revised collection day
Monday 26 December (boxing day) Wednesday 28 December
Tuesday 27 December Thursday 29 December
Wednesday 28 December Friday 30 December
Thursday 29 December Tuesday 3 January
Friday 30 December Wednesday 4 January
Monday 2 January (New Year’s Day - substitute day) Thursday 5 January
Tuesday 3 January Friday 6 January
Wednesday 4 January Saturday 7 January
Thursday 5 January Monday 9 January
Friday 6 January Tuesday 10 January
Monday 9 January Wednesday 11 January
Tuesday 10 January Thursday 12 January
Wednesday 11 January Friday 13 January
Thursday 12 January Saturday 14 January
Friday 13 January Monday 16 January
Monday 16 January Tuesday 17 January
Tuesday 17 January Wednesday 18 January
Wednesday 18 January Thursday 19 January
Thursday 19 January Friday 20 January
Friday 20 January Saturday 21 January

Normal collections resume on Monday 23 January.

Garden waste collections will be suspended at the end of the day on 16 December 2022 and will resume on 16 January 2023.

Please note the above dates are subject to change.

Below are the dates and opening times for the Swindon Road recycling centre.

Swindon Road recycling centre Christmas opening hours
Date Opening hours
Friday 23 December Normal opening hours (7.30am - 6.30pm)
Saturday 24 December - Christmas Eve 9.00am - 1.00pm
Sunday 25 December - Christmas Day Closed
Monday 26 December - Boxing Day Closed
Tuesday 27 December (bank holiday) 9.00am - 1.00pm
Wednesday 28 December Normal opening hours (7.30am - 6.30pm)
Thursday 29 December Normal opening hours (7.30am - 6.30pm)
Friday 30 December Normal opening hours (7.30am - 6.30pm)
Saturday 31 December - New Year's Eve 9.00am - 1.00pm
Sunday 1 January - New Year's Day Closed
Monday 2 January (bank holiday) 9.00am - 1.00pm
Tuesday 3 January Normal opening hours resume (7.30am - 6.30pm)

Recycling Christmas trees

You can recycle your real Christmas trees at any of the following drop off points:

  • Swindon Road Recycling Centre – anytime during opening hours.
  • From 2 to 16 January 2023, locations around Cheltenham where trees will be collected and recycled:
    • Cheltenham Racecourse – New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3LT
    • Cheltenham Football Club – Whaddon Road, Cheltenham, GL52 5NA
    • Old Patesians Rugby Club - Everest Road, Cheltenham, GL53 9LG
    • Cheltenham B&Q – Golden Valley Retail Park, Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6TA

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.

Please note: Christmas tree drop off points will have a designated area marked off with cones and a sign. Please only use these areas to deposit your real Christmas trees.

If you are a garden waste customer leave your tree out with your garden waste bin on your first collection after 16 January 2023 and it will be collected. If you are not a garden waste customer, Ubico Ltd will collect Christmas trees from 16 January 2023 from the kerbside. Please remember garden waste collections will not be undertaken between 16 December 2022 and 16 January 2023.

Christmas lights

Please put Christmas lights in a tied carrier bag and then place them in one of your recycling boxes for collection. You can also take them to the Swindon Road recycling centre.

Wrapping paper and cards

Wrapping paper which does not contain foil can be put into your kerbside recycling boxes for recycling. However wrapping paper made from foil cannot be placed in to the kerbside recycling box as unfortunately they cannot be recycled. 

Tip If your wrapping paper can be scrunched and stays scrunched up it doesn’t contain foil, foil wrapping paper springs back when scrunched.

Cardboard gift boxes and packaging should be flattened and placed in your blue cardboard bag.

Provided they do not contain foil or glitter decoration, these can be put into the blue cardboard bag, recycled at the cardboard banks at bring sites around the town or taken to the Swindon Road recycling centre. Remember you can remove the foil and glitter section of the Christmas card and recycle the rest of the card.

Coffee Pods

Coffee pods can now be collected at the kerbside so if you have a coffee machine or are lucky enough to get one this Christmas then please recycle these as part of your kerbside collection. More about the scheme can be found by going to our dedicated page – Podback – coffee pod recycling.

Food waste

Food waste can also build over the Christmas period, so please remember to try and use up any leftovers with these helpful food hacks from Love Food Hate Waste. If you do find yourself with food leftovers, please remember to either home compost it or pop it in your 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. If you have more food waste than normal, you can put both your small and large caddies out for collection.

Plastic bags, films and wrapping

Plastic bags, films and wrappings can be taken to some supermarkets for recycling. Check out your supermarket to see what you can recycle there. If you are part of the kerbside trial please remember to put all plastic bags, films and wrappings in your bag and present at kerbside with the rest of your recycling.

Find out more information about the council’s waste and recycling services.

For press enquiries, please contact: communications, telephone 01242 264231, email