What to do with your festive waste this Christmas

Published on 06 December 2022

Image shows festive gift boxes on the floor.

It's the season for excessive eating and gift-giving, but it doesn’t mean it’s the season for all recycling habits to go out the window. Use these helpful tips to make the right decisions about what to do with your festive waste and keep Palmerston North beautiful, all year round.

Gift wrapping, packaging and Christmas cards

  • Cardboard and wrapping paper can be put in your recycling wheelie bins for collection (the wrapping must be 100% paper).
  • Metallic and shiny paper wrappings can’t be recycled and must go in your rubbish.
  • Old Christmas cards can be put in your recycling wheelie bins for collection, as long as they’re glitter and ribbon-free.
  • Tin foil can't be recycled and must go in your rubbish.
  • Plastic wrap, courier bags, bubble wrap, plastic bags, and most chocolate bar wrappers are all soft plastics and must go in your rubbish.
  • Any polystyrene used to package items needs to go in the rubbish.

Food waste

No matter how much we (over) indulge on Christmas Day, there always seems to be leftovers.

  • First off, plan your meals, write shopping lists, and store your food correctly to try and cut back on as much food waste as possible.
  • Make use of leftovers! Find some inspiration on Love Food Hate Waste’s website.
  • Food scraps and any leftovers you can no longer use must go in your rubbish, or better yet, your compost.
  • And if you have excess store-bought food, donate it to Just Zilch or a local food bank.
  • Remember, egg trays, clean pizza boxes, steel tins and cans, and plastic containers and bottles can all be put in your recycling wheelie bin.

Christmas trees and decorations

  • ‘Real’ Christmas trees can be recycled and turned into chippings for parks. We’ll have a special collection from 9 – 13th January. You can leave your tree, safely on the kerb on your usual recycling collection day, during this week only.
  • These ‘real’ Christmas trees can also be dropped off free of charge at our Awapuni Resource Recovery Park in January.
  • Unwanted tinsel or Christmas decorations should go in your rubbish if you can't find a new home for them.
  • Christmas lights can be dropped off to our Ferguson Street Recycling Centre, free of charge (in December and January only).

Unwanted gifts

If you have unwanted Christmas gifts, think about taking them to a charity or op shop. Check out the Arohanui Hospice, Red Cross shops, Salvation Army family stores, SPCA op-shop, or the Women’s Refuge Palmerston North.