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7 tips for clever Christmas recycling

Find out what you can and can't recycle this festive season...

Published: 7 December 2017

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Get tips on recycling this Christmas.

WATCH:  Parul Sood, General Manager, Waste Solutions on TVNZ Breakfast sharing her tips with Kiwis on how to recycle right this Christmas. 

Seven tips for clever Christmas recycling

Save your bins from overflowing this Christmas with our tips of what you can and can’t put in your kerbside recycling bin.

1. Choose paper gift wrapping

  • All cardboard and paper can go in the recycling bin – paper gift wrapping, cardboard Christmas crackers, Christmas cards.
  • Paper Christmas wrapping is okay, but anything shiny or with a plastic coating can’t be recycled.
  • Try the 'tear test' - if your Christmas wrapping tears it is paper and can be recycled in your recycling bin. Remember to remove the tape!
  • Think about using reusable gift bags to cut down on all that paper and your bin from bulging with gift wrap.

2. Re-gift plastic toys

  • You can recycle Christmas toys – but not in your kerbside recycling bin.
  • Please donate plastic toys and soft toys to your local community recycling centre, or donate them to a charity shop.

3. Avoid polystyrene

  • Unfortunately, all the packaging that comes with kids' toys and gifts can’t be recycled and has to go in your rubbish bin.
  • Remember, it never breaks down. You use it once, but it lasts forever.

4. Donate clothing

  • You can recycle clothing, but not in your kerbside bin.
  • Take clothing to specialised clothing banks, your local recycle boutique or a charity shop.

5. Wrap broken glass

  • Broken glass can’t go in the recycling bin, so if you get a bit ‘merry’ this Christmas and break a glass, please don’t put it in the recycling bin.
  • Instead, safely wrap it in paper and place it in your rubbish bin.

6. Keep plastic bags out of your recycling bin

  • Please don't put plastic bags in your recycling bins; plastic bags shut down the recycling sorting machines.
  • Instead, take plastic bags to your local supermarket. Most New World, Pak'nSave, Four Square and Countdown stores across New Zealand have soft plastic recycling collection bins.
  • Find out more about soft plastic recycling.
  • A not-so-merry statistic: Aucklanders use more than 600 million single-use plastic bags each year, on average for only 12 minutes.

7. Tree-cycle your Christmas tree

  • Fake or real – Christmas trees cannot go in your recycling bin.
  • Take fake trees to a recycling centre so they can be reused.
  • If you buy a real Christmas tree, always ask your tree seller if they will take your tree after the festive season. 
  • If you have a private garden bag or bin collection, check if they accept Christmas trees.

Want to know more?

  • Always recycle plastic, glass, metal and cardboard packaging from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry.
  • Rinse all containers – leaving the lids on.
  • Yes. TetraPak cartons can be recycled!
  • For tricky items – try using Auckland Council’s recycling search to search by item or category.

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Waste