Published date: 12 December 2018

North London Waste Authority Gives Residents One Less Thing to Think About this Christmas

With so much to organise over the festive period, dealing with waste and recycling can feel like one thing too many worry about. That’s why North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has put together a collection of handy information and advice, all in one place, to help ease the burden.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Chair of NLWA, said: “There are huge benefits to wasting less and recycling more at Christmas. It can save us money but it also makes sure that we get the most out of the materials we use by recycling them into something new, rather than just disposing of them. Most of the waste we produce over the festive period can be recycled. Check out NLWA’s webpage to get all the help you need.”

Gift Ideas

Nobody wants to give an unwanted gift but it can be hard to think of new gift ideas. ‘Experience’ or home-made gifts are the perfect solution - they can save you money and create less waste too. NLWA has put together a selection of great gift ideas from tasty treats like preserved fruit to afternoon tea vouchers or even a tree top adventure.

Recycling Tips: Christmas Culprits

Most of us create more waste at Christmas and the good news is that most of this can go into the household recycling bin. But there are a few materials which might look recyclable but can actually cause problems if they get mixed up with the recycling.
Watch out for:

  • Any cards or paper with glitter on them. While the paper/card itself can be recycled, there’s no way to remove the bits of glitter. So when the recycling gets passed on to a paper mill, those bits of glitter would end up in their end product, adding an unexpected sparkle to your cereal box or toilet roll.
  • Metallic wrapping paper that is shiny or springs back when you scrunch it. This material is made from a combination of paper and thin metal, stuck together and so can’t be recycled. Remember the ‘scrunch rule’ - if it stays scrunched then it’s recyclable.
  • Polystyrene. Polystyrene isn’t recyclable – it’s very cheap to produce but recycling it would take too much energy.

Christmas Tree Recycling

There are lots of ways to recycle Christmas trees:

  • Residents who have a garden waste service can chop the branches and trunk and put it in the garden waste bin in the normal way.
  • Trees can be taken it to one of north London's reuse and recycling centres. The RRCs are only closed on 25 and 26 December and then open for business again on 27 December (with the exception of Hornsey Street in Islington which is also open on 26 December).
  • Some north London boroughs provide specific arrangements for Christmas tree recycling – the links are all on NLWA’s ‘Waste Less, Save More Christmas’ webpage.

For lots more handy waste and recycling information this Christmas, visit