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Christmas Waste

Below is our guide to waste and recycling over Christmas and the New Year, including:

  • Join the fight against festive food waste – put your knowledge to the test and you could win a £100 farm shop voucher!
  • Collection day changes
  • Waste and recycling advice over the holidays
  • How to cut your festive food waste
  • Turn something old into something magical and new this Christmas
  • Christmas recycling – Check it before you chuck it
  • Wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and paper packaging
  • Christmas Tree collections
  • What to do if you’ve got extra / too much recycling and waste
  • Garden waste collections
  • Household Waste and Recycling Centres (Tips)
  • What happens if bad weather (heavy snow and ice) affects bin collections

Join the fight against festive food waste – put your knowledge to the test and you could win a £100 farm shop voucher!

Too much of our food ends up being thrown away, especially at Christmas time. Try our quiz and find out how you can save food, save money and help the environment. Join the fight against festive food waste!

Recycling your food waste is good, not wasting food is even better! This Christmas, plan what you’re going to eat each day so you don’t buy and cook too much.

If you do have food left over:

Please put any genuine food waste, such as turkey bones, parsnip peel and eggshells, in your food waste bin, not in your recycling or general waste bins.

Collections over Christmas and New Year

Here are the collection changes over the Christmas and New Year period:

Normal collection dayRevised collection day
Monday 25 DecemberWednesday 27 December
Tuesday 26 DecemberThursday 28 December
Wednesday 27 DecemberFriday 29 December
Thursday 28 DecemberSaturday 30 December
Friday 29 DecemberTuesday 2 January
Normal collection dayRevised collection day
Monday 1 JanuaryWednesday 3 January
Tuesday 2 JanuaryThursday 4 January
Wednesday 3 JanuaryFriday 5 January
Thursday 4 JanuarySaturday 6 January
Friday 5 JanuaryMonday 8 January
Normal collection dayRevised collection day
Monday 8 JanuaryTuesday 9 January
Tuesday 9 JanuaryWednesday 10 January
Wednesday 10 JanuaryThursday 11 January
Thursday 11 JanuaryFriday 12 January
Friday 12 JanuarySaturday 13 January

If you’re not sure when your next collection day is, please use our BINZONE service.

Collections will return to the normal schedule from Monday 15 January.

Waste and recycling queries over the holidays – we’re here to help

Our call centre is open for queries from 9am – 5pm on 23 December and 27 – 29 December.

Call 03000 610610 or email

Turn something old into something magical and new this Christmas

Cut your festive waste this Christmas by turning old sparkly stuff, wrapping, cards, fabric and nik naks into new decorations and more. 

Check out our Christmas recycling ideas page for some easy-to-follow videos and instructions.

If you’ve got unwanted good condition items around the house, such as books, music, clothes or games why not give them a new home and save on buying new gifts – they may make a great present for a friend or a valuable donation to your local charity shop. You could make someone’s day, save money and help to reduce waste, too.

If you do need to buy something new, please try to shop local and support the wonderful independent shops in our towns.

Christmas recycling – remember to Check it before you chuck it!

We really don’t want to see any unwanted or messy gifts ending up in our recycling bins by mistake.  Even if the label says that something can be recycled, you should still check to make sure – recycling labels on packaging are often incorrect and we may not be able to recycle that item locally.

We all need an occasional reminder to ensure we get our Christmas recycling right, so please Check it before you chuck it!

Here’s a quick checklist on where some of the most common Christmas waste should go:

ItemsWhere they should go
Food wastealways in your food waste bin
Soft plastic packaging
(such as the film covering your turkey)
your local supermarket may have a collection point, if not then please put them in your black general waste bin
Tin foil and foil traysput these in your green recycling bin – remember it must be clean, dry and loose
Used cooking oil from your Christmas dinnerif it’s just a little oil then put it straight into your food caddy, otherwise pour it into an old plastic bottle and place the bottle inside or near your food caddy
Broken baubles and tinselput these in your black general waste bin
Wrapping paper and Christmas cardsAnything with glitter on will need to go in the black bin.
Standard Christmas cards and wrapping paper you can rip should go in the recycling bin.
If the paper doesn’t rip, please put it in the black general waste bin.
Used batteriesthese should go in a clear bag on top of your green recycling bin. Never put them inside a bin as they are a major fire risk!
Small electricals, such as broken Christmas lightsin a tied carrier bag next to your black general waste bin
Broken glassglasses, mirrors or cooking dishes need to be placed in the black bin

For more information, visit our ‘Recycling – helping you to get it right’ page or, to check individual items, please use our BINZONE service.

And remember – all items that go in your recycling bin must be clean, dry and loose.

Wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and paper packaging

If you don’t want to keep a cardboard box, please flatten it and put it in your recycling bin or beside your recycling bin when you put it out for collection. 

Paper packaging, such as cards and envelopes can be recycled too, as long as they don’t have glitter on them – if they do then please try to reuse them or put them in your black general rubbish bin.

Christmas tree collections

If you have a real Christmas tree and want to dispose of it once the festivities are over, please see our dedicated Christmas tree collection webpage to see the dates and drop-off points across the district. 

If you are subscribed to our garden waste service, just put it by your brown bin on your next scheduled collection day, from 9 January onwards (see below for details).

Extra recycling and waste (too much to fit into your bin)

All bins must be fully closed with their lids shut.

If you have extra recycling – please put it out in a cardboard box or a clear plastic bag and place it out by your green bin on your next recycling collection day.

If have extra rubbish that doesn’t fit into your closed black bin – you must put it in the next rubbish collection or take it to a Household waste recycling centre.

Garden waste

To ensure crews are able to collect the additional waste and recycling produced over Christmas, garden waste collections will not take place during the weeks commencing 25 December and 1 January.

The garden waste service resumes from Tuesday 9 January / the week commencing 15 January, depending on your next scheduled collection – if you are unsure when this is, please check Binzone.

Household Waste and Recycling Centres (Tips)

These are run by Oxfordshire County Council – please check their website here to find out Christmas opening times.

What happens if bad weather (heavy snow and ice) affects bin collections

If we cannot empty your bins because roads are unsafe due to snow or ice then please leave them out for two days after your scheduled collection and we will try to catch up.

If that’s not possible then we will empty them next time they’re due.

If collections are disrupted by bad weather, we will post updates on our website and social media and to smartphone users who have the BINZONE app with notifications enabled.

Contact us - Biffa

03000 610610
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

c/o Vale of White Horse District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE