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Cutting the environmental cost of Christmas | Fife Council
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Cutting the environmental cost of Christmas

Animation Earth wearing a santa hatChristmas is one of the busiest and most celebrated holidays in Scotland. It is the time when we eat the most food, buy the most presents and spend time with family and friends.

Fife Council is keen to help local people and communities reduce the carbon footprint of Christmas and the cost to the local environment, whilst celebrating the festivities.

Cllr Jan Wincott, Spokesperson - Environment & Climate Change, Fife Council, said: “A full range of council services are available for local people to help our residents recycle well and dispose of their waste responsibility.

“The festive season is a time of joy, and people shouldn’t feel pressured to meet the commercial expectations of food spilling over the tables and presents stocked so high you can’t see the tree. Carefully considering seasonal spending – on food and goods - can be good for the environment as well as for your wallet.

“For example, buying pre-loved items as presents and more sustainable goods is becoming more popular as we move towards a more sustainable society. Zero Waste Scotland has put together some ideas on how to enjoy Christmas whilst trimming off the unnecessary waste Christmas | How to Waste Less (zerowastescotland.org.uk)

Fife’s recycling centres are OPEN for business! Local people can access our recycling centres with a car without booking in advance and no restriction on number of visits. Our recycling centres are open as normal up to Christmas and are open most days – except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2nd January. Find out more: Recycling Centre | Fife Council If you are using a van or trailer please pre-book Household Waste Recycling Centres | Fife Council

Bin collections and recycling services Local people are encouraged to clear out excess packaging before Christmas and hold onto their waste for an additional day - when there are no kerb bin pick-ups or recycling services running on 25 and 26 December. Most of the council’s recycling centres reopen as usual and most of our 300 recycling points are serviced on 27 December.

Find your closest recycling point(s): Recycling Points | Fife Council

Please don’t flytip Leaving recycling or waste outside of recycling centres or outwith containers at recycling points is illegal dumping and is the same as flytipping.

Although the council services many recycling points more often around the Christmas period, some are still left in a mess with flytipped materials when the containers are full. As well as being unsightly, these materials need to be cleared rapidly, so are sent to landfill rather than being recycled.

Sandy Anderson, Fife Council's Domestic Waste Service Manager, said: “Christmas is a busy time and we know that it can be hard to find time to carry out certain tasks. The festive period generates more recycling and rubbish than any other time of the year. In turn, we’ll servicing our busier recycling points more frequently, and some additional recycling bins are in place at our most used sites over this period.

It’s important we all help keep Fife looking great by considering when, as well as how, we get rid of waste. Please don’t leave your recycling at points if they are already full.

“Unfortunately, when points are misused and there are mountains of rubbish left, the items and waste are moved to landfill. If possible, please wait until 27 December to take your recycling to points. Our points and centres are only closed for a couple of days before reopening as usual – we encourage local people to enjoy their Boxing Day and to hold onto their recycling to prevent unsightly flytipping.”

Handy tips to help dispose of recycling and waste:

Wrapping paper and cardboard
Once Christmas day is over, recycle paper and cardboard responsibly and safely. Unwanted paper and cardboard can go into your grey bin, or be disposed of at a recycling centre. Please compact all boxes for recycling as that way they can fit into the recycling bin.

If you have bulky cardboard that is too big for your recycling bin please put it out alongside your grey bin. This is a one-off collection of excess cardboard only for the grey bin collection day that falls after Christmas. Please present waste neatly and flatpack where possible. If windy or weather warnings are out, please put your paper and cardboard out in the morning, rather than the evening before.

Plastics recycling Fife offers kerbside collections for ALL plastics, including soft plastics - flexible plastic and film. This means that you can put all plastic wrapping or plastic -coated paper into the green plastics bin.

Plastics including plastic bags, vegetable bags and wrappers, the film from the top of ready meal trays, plus pet food pouches and bubble wrap can now go into plastics bins.

Re-use and recycle first If you are buying new furniture or white goods for Christmas the store you are purchasing from may remove your old item for free or at a nominal cost. Alternatively, local charities or community groups may be able to collect your item for re-use. Find out more: Reuse | Fife Council

If there are items like toys, electrical items, bric-a-brac you don’t need after Christmas, you could donate them to local charity shops or community groups. Find your nearest charity shop: www.charityretail.org.uk/find-a-charity-shop

Bulky uplift serviceThe council’s bulky uplift service is a cost -effective way of disposing of large items that cannot go into the wheelie bin or be taken to a recycling centre Bulky uplift service | Fife Council

Cut food wasteZero Waste Scotland research reveals, collectively, people living in Scotland could save more than £90 million by not wasting food this festive season. That’s a saving of £38 for every household!

Food leftovers
Recycle all food waste (cooked and uncooked) in the brown bin. But please don’t put any food in the food recycling that still has residual bits of plastic or foil attached.

Electrical goodsRecycle your old and used goods responsibly by taking them along to a recycling centre, or donate them to a local charity shop. Find your nearest charity shop: www.charityretail.org.uk/find-a-charity-shop

Real Christmas treesYour real Christmas tree can be disposed of in your brown bin or by cutting into 6ft lengths and leaving alongside your brown bin on your collection day.

Glass jars and bottlesOnce the chutneys, jams and drink have been consumed it is time to think about re-using or recycling. Please dispose of glass responsibly at a recycling point.