Rubbish & recycling  |  20 Dec 2019

Dreading the post-Christmas clean-up? Here are a few handy tips on what you can and can’t put in your kerbside wheelie bins. By putting the right items in the right bins you will be helping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Disposing of Christmas gift unwrapping

  • You can put cardboard or paper left behind after Christmas presents have been unwrapped into the yellow wheelie bin as long as it is bigger in size than an envelope and doesn’t have a plastic coating.
  • If you’re uncertain try the tear test. If your Christmas wrapping paper tears it is paper and can be recycled.  If it doesn't tear, put it in the red bin.
  • Foil wrapping can't be recycled and must go in the red bin.
  • Plastic wrap, plastic strapping, courier bags , bubble wrap , plastic shopping bags, confectionary bar wrappers are all soft plastics and must go in the red bin
  • Old Christmas cards can go in the yellow wheelie bin
  • Any polystyrene used to package items should be put in the red bin.
  • If you have more recycling than you can fit in your bin, you can drop it off one of the EcoDrop recycling centres for free.

Dealing with Christmas breakages 

  • Broken cups and glasses cannot go into the yellow wheelie bin so if a glass gets broken during your Christmas festivities, wrap it in paper and place it in your red bin.

Getting rid of unwanted Christmas gifts

  • If you have unwanted Christmas gifts, think about taking them to a charity shop or one of the EcoDrop recycling centres.  You can find out more about what items are accepted at EcoDrop centres here.
  • Unwanted clothing or toys can’t be recycled in the yellow bin and could damage the sorting machinery at the EcoSort facility.
  • Good clothing can be recycled through one of the clothing bins dotted around the city otherwise these belong in the red bin.

Disposing of the Christmas tree

  • If you’ve got a real Christmas tree that’s reached its use-by date, you can chop it into small pieces and put it in your green wheelie bin or take it to the EcoDrop green waste drop-off (standard charges will apply). 
  • If you want to get rid of a fake tree and it’s in good condition, take it to one of the EcoDrop recycling centres so someone else can use it. If your fake tree has lost its Christmas sparkle you can dispose of it in the red bin.
  • Unwanted tinsel or Christmas ornaments should go in the red bin if you can't find a new home for them.

Excess food

  • Food scraps (including chicken and turkey bones) and any left-overs you no longer can use can be disposed of in the green organics wheelie bin

Don't overfill

  • Don't overfill your wheelie bins. Remember bin lids must be flat for collection. 

Bin collection

If your wheelie bins are normally emptied on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, they will be emptied a day later over the Christmas/New Year period.

Because Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a Wednesday, the Wednesday collection will move to Thursday, the Thursday collection will move to Friday and the Friday collection will move to Saturday. 

All kerbside collections will take place on the normal days from the week beginning Monday 6 January.

Find out more on at or download our helpful app.