Christmas recycling

Christmas Recycling

Recycling at Christmas: Canterbury City Council

As in previous years, your collection dates will be slightly different this year over Christmas. You’ll find information about your revised dates below along with advice on how you can recycle everything from your real Christmas tree to your festive cards.

Christmas collection dates



Friday 24 DecemberNormal collection
Monday 27 DecemberWednesday 29 December
Tuesday 28 DecemberThursday 30 December
Wednesday 29 DecemberFriday 31 December
Thursday 30 DecemberTuesday 4 January
Friday 31 DecemberWednesday 5 January
Monday 3 JanuaryThursday 6 January
Tuesday 4 JanuaryFriday 7 January
Wednesday 5 JanuarySaturday 8 January
Thursday 6 JanuaryMonday 10 January
Friday 7 JanuaryTuesday 11 January
Monday 10 JanuaryWednesday 12 January
Tuesday 11 JanuaryThursday 13 January
Wednesday 12 JanuaryFriday 14 January
Thursday 13 JanuarySaturday 15 January
Friday 14 JanuaryMonday 17 January
Monday 17 JanuaryTuesday 18 January
Tuesday 18 JanuaryWednesday 19 January
Wednesday 19 JanuaryThursday 20 January
Thursday 20 JanuaryFriday 21 January
Friday 21 JanuarySaturday 22 January
Monday 24 JanuaryNormal collection

You can find out more about your collection dates and download your bin calendar at 

Garden waste 

Garden waste collections will resume for subscribers on Monday 28 February 2022. Until then, you can still take your garden waste to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Christmas tree collections

Christmas tree recycling: Pilgrims Hospices

Your real Christmas trees will be collected by Canenco on the week starting either 24 or 31 January 2022 depending on your calendar. Please remember we will only be able to collect your real tree for recycling if it does not contain decorations.

You can also choose to recycle your real Christmas tree with Pilgrim’s Hospice. They will be running a collection service for a donation from the kerbside between 8 and 11 January 2022. You can register and donate online by 3 January 2022 at

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

Your local HWRC is still open under the current government restrictions. The only days they will be closed are on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. With these exceptions, the centres are open seven days a week from 08:30 – 15:45 for socially distanced use. You will need to book a slot in advance.

What to recycle at Christmas

Most of us try to do the right thing by recycling where we can. But many things can end up in the wrong bin, especially at Christmas when our waste increases by around 30%. If a recycling bin is contaminated with enough items that can’t be recycled – the whole thing may not be collected. To make sure your rubbish ends up in the right place this Christmas, here’s our guide:

✅ Real Christmas trees (no decorations)
❌ Baubles and tinsel
✅ Drinks bottles and cans
❌ Ribbons and bows
✅ Leftover food and peelings
❌ Polystyrene packaging
✅ Cardboard boxes (flattened)
❌ Artificial Christmas trees
✅ Wrapping paper (plain)
❌ Wrapping paper with foil or glitter
✅ Glass bottles and jars
❌ Fairy lights (recycle at the tip)
✅ Sweet and biscuit tins and tubs
❌ Batteries (recycle at the tip)
✅ Mince pie foil trays
❌ Sticky tape
✅ Christmas cards (no foil or glitter)
❌ Sweet and chocolate wrappers

Top recycling tips

1. Turn your food waste into compost using your grey caddy

You can recycle your leftover festive food and peelings by putting them in your grey food caddy. Once collected, they will be turned into nutrient-rich compost or gas and agricultural fertiliser. You can also get creative with your leftovers using delicious recipes from

2. Recycle your Christmas cards and boxes

xmas cards

After Christmas, you can recycle cards in your red bin, red box or paper insert – just make sure there’s no glitter, ribbons, sticky tape or foil. If you’ve ordered gifts online, remember to also recycle your cardboard boxes. These can be torn and flattened before being put in your red bin or insert to save space.

Top hint: If you have large amounts of card, bundle them up next to your bin or box in pieces no larger than 60cm square (about the length of your arm). Make sure they are secure so they don’t blow away.

3. Donate unwanted gifts, clothes and toys 

Plastic toys can’t be recycled in your household collections as they often contain many different component parts. If you have unwanted gifts or just need to make space after Christmas, consider donating your toys, clothes and unwanted gifts to your local charity shop. Just make sure they are in good working order. You can also recycle clothes and textiles as your local Household Waste Recycling Centre or clothes bank.

4. Do Santa’s scrunch test

We would love to recycle your wrapping paper in your red bin or paper insert, but just make sure it doesn’t contain metallic or laminated coatings, decorations, glitter or sticky tape. If you are still unsure about whether you can recycle a specific wrapping paper, you can use Santa’s scrunch test to find out.

5. Keep your decorations and Christmas cards to reuse next year! 

After Christmas, you can keep your cards to make creative gift tags or decorations next year. You can also keep or donate your Christmas decorations so they can be reused or repurposed for years to come. From bauble wreaths to creative place settings, there are plenty of ways you can deck the halls while helping the environment.

You can also find out more about recycling, download your bin calendar and full Christmas collection dates by going to


Published: 16 December 2020

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