Christmas recycling

Recycling at Christmas

Below you’ll find your revised collection dates along with advice on what you can recycle in your household bins this festive season and how to dispose of your Christmas tree.

Christmas Collection dates



Monday 25 December Wednesday 27 December
Tuesday 26 DecemberThursday 28 December
Wednesday 27 DecemberFriday 29 December
Thursday 28 DecemberSaturday 30 December
Friday 29 December  Tuesday 2 January
Monday 1 JanuaryWednesday 3 January
Tuesday 2 January Thursday 4 January
Wednesday 3 JanuaryFriday 5 January
Thursday 4 January Saturday 6 January
Friday 5 January Monday 8 January
Monday 8 JanuaryTuesday 9 January
Tuesday 9 January  Wednesday 10 January
Wednesday 10 January Thursday 11 January
Thursday 11 January  Friday 12 January
Friday 12 January  Saturday 13 January

Find out more about your collection dates and download your bin calendar

Garden waste 

Although there will be a break in garden waste collections for the remainder of December, January and February, this subscription year will continue into March 2024 to give current subscribers two free collections. This is something we previously committed to during the period of industrial action over the summer.

2024 garden waste collections will therefore begin a month later than usual in April 2024.

In the meantime, you can still take your garden waste to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Christmas tree collections

This year we are pleased to again be supporting and promoting the charity collection of trees by Pilgrims Hospice. They will be running a collection service for a donation from the kerbside between 5 and 8 January 2024. You can register and donate online by midnight on 1 January 2024.

Residents who do not go down this route, but who intend to subscribe to garden waste collections in 2024, are asked to chop their tree up and put it in their garden bin, ready for the first collection in April.

Current garden waste subscribers should do the same, ready for their free collections in March instead.

Finally, you can wait for Canenco’s kerbside collection. Your real tree will be taken during either week starting 15 or 22 January 2024. This will depend on which week your recycling is collected. On the Monday of recycling week, please put your tree out at the edge of your property and crews will attend at some point that week. It will not necessarily be the same day as the recycling collection itself. This is a drive-by collection and routes will be fluid, so we cannot give precise dates for each area. And the nature of this collection regrettably means we cannot provide an assisted service for Christmas trees. We will only be able to collect real trees for recycling if they do not contain decorations and are not in a pot or stand.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

Kent County Council runs the Household Waste Recycling Centres in Canterbury and Herne Bay. You can check festive opening hours and book a slot on KCC’s website. 

What you can recycle in your bins

Over the festive season, we tend to generate around 30% more waste than usual and, with many seasonal items purchased, it can be hard to know if an item can be recycled and where it should go.

To help get Christmas recycling sorted across our district, please find a list of things you can recycle in your household bins and boxes. There’s also some key advice on items that we cannot accept at home but may be accepted for recycling or donation elsewhere.

Blue bin or box

Along with your usual recycling, please find a list of some seasonal items that you can recycle in your blue bin or box. You can also see the items that cannot be accepted in your household bin.


✅ Advent calendar (plastic only) 

✅ Plastic trays, punnets and pots

✅ Tins and drinks cans 

✅ Glass bottles and jars

✅ Foil (scrunched up to a tennis ball size) 

✅ Mince pie cases 

✅ Sweet and biscuit tins and tubs


❌ Artificial Christmas trees 

❌ Batteries 

❌ Baubles and tinsel 

❌ Flexible plastics 

❌ Toys 

❌ Polystyrene 

❌ Wrapping paper  

❌ Fairy lights 

❌ Sweet and chocolate wrappers

Red bin or box

Along with your usual paper and card, there are many things you buy at Christmas that can be recycled in your red bin or box. Please note that wrapping paper and cards can be recycled if they are plain – but if they have glitter, foil or bows on them, these need to be removed before the card is placed in the recycling bin.


✅ Advent calendar card (remove plastic and foil)

✅ Plain wrapping paper (no glitter or foil)

✅ Plain Christmas cards (no glitter, bows, foil)

✅ Cardboard delivery boxes 

✅ Card gift boxes 

✅ Plain Christmas crackers (all contents removed)


❌ Polystyrene 

❌ Paper covered in glitter or foil 

❌ Bows and ribbons 

❌ Sticky tape  

Food caddy

We generate 270,000 extra tonnes of food waste over the Christmas period. While avoiding food waste by careful planning is the best way to save money and help the environment, recycling or composting your unwanted food is the next best thing.


✅ Leftover food 

✅ Peelings and scraps 

✅ Tea bags and coffee grounds 

✅ Eggshells 

✅ Cooked and raw meat and bones


❌ Plastic bags 

❌ Liquids 

❌ Wrapping

What you can recycle elsewhere

Recycle Now offers a fantastic Recycling Locator tool that allows you to locate all recycling points outside of your home based on your postcode and the item you specifically wish to recycle. For example, flexible plastics can be recycled in many supermarkets as can batteries.

Please remember you can also use your local Household Waste Recycling centre for items like electricals, textiles and green waste. For opening hours and more information about what you can take, please visit Kent County Council’s website.

Thank you for recycling this Christmas!

Published: 16 December 2020

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