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



Monday 26 December Wednesday 28 December
Tuesday 27 DecemberThursday 29 December
Wednesday 28 DecemberFriday 30 December
Thursday 29 DecemberSaturday 31 December
Friday 30 December  Tuesday 3 January
Monday 2 JanuaryWednesday 4 January
Tuesday 3 January Thursday 5 January
Wednesday 4 JanuaryFriday 6 January
Thursday 5 January Saturday 7 January
Friday 6 January Monday 9 January
Monday 9 JanuaryTuesday 10 January
Tuesday 10 January  Wednesday 11 January
Wednesday 11 January Thursday 12 January
Thursday 12 January  Friday 13 January
Friday 13 January  Saturday 14 January

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

Garden waste 

Garden waste collections will resume for subscribers on Monday 27 February 2023. Until then, you can still take your garden waste to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Christmas tree collections

Christmas tree recycling: Pilgrims Hospices

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 6 and 9 January 2023. You can register and donate online by midnight on 2 January 2023.

Residents who do not go down this route, but who intend to subscribe to garden waste collections in 2023, are asked to chop their tree up and put it in their garden bin, ready for the first collection in February 2023.

Finally, you can wait for Canenco’s kerbside collection. Your real tree will be taken during either week starting 16 or 23 January. 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 your real tree for recycling if it does not contain decorations.

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 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. Get creative with your leftovers using delicious recipes.

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.


Published: 16 December 2020

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