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Christmas ‘Tis the Season for… increased contamination!

With the festive season now underway, many of us will be turning our attention to Christmas preparations (if we haven’t already done so).

For most of us, Christmas is a time of increased consumption; from gifts, wrapping paper and food to household decorations, season’s greetings cards and the odd festive tipple, the chances are we’ll all have plenty of waste and recycling to deal with over the holidays.

With spirits high, it can be easy to forget about the importance of disposing of materials correctly, but with so much additional waste at Christmas recycling properly is more important than ever.

At Casepak, we often find that Christmas is the time for increased contamination in the recycling stream. From broken fairy lights and children’s toys to old clothes and Christmas trees, it’s fair to say the festive season produces some unique challenges at the MRF.

There are things that you can do to get the best out of your recyclables and ensure that you aren’t contributing to contamination, which seriously reduces the efficiency of our recycling operations. We’ve prepared a few helpful tips to help you stay on top of your recycling and do your bit for the environment this Christmas:

Paper and Card

You may assume that all wrapping paper and Christmas cards can be recycled but unfortunately this isn’t the case. Items featuring glitter, foiling or any embellishments cannot be recycled and need to be placed in your general waste bin. If in doubt, try the wrapping paper scrunch test – scrunch the wrapping paper in your hand, and if it stays scrunched it can be recycled. If it springs back, it probably cannot be recycled.

Food waste

If your general waste bin is full, please don’t use the recycling bin as an ‘overflow’. Food waste plays a huge part in contaminating otherwise perfectly good recycling loads, so it is vital that residents don’t put such items in recycling bins. Don’t forget to make good use of your food recycling caddy at Christmas.


While you may usually recycle glass, there’s often a lot more of it about at Christmas thanks to drinks and condiments, increasing the risk of it getting thrown in with the general waste. Make sure to separate bottles and jars out this festive season, give them a rinse and pop the lids back on.

Check your collection dates

Finally, check your bin collection dates for Christmas as they often vary from your usual schedule. With all that extra festive waste and recycling, the last thing you want is to miss your collection!

On behalf of all of us here at Casepak we wish our customers, their friends, family and loved ones a very happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year!