Christmas bin collection UK 2021: when will council collect recycling and general waste at Xmas and New Year?

The festive period can see your bins filling up a lot faster than usual, so it’s important to know the adjusted dates and times for when your council will collect your bins

It’s common for the festive season to see shops changing their opening hours, public transport changing its timetable and changes to the bin collection schedule.

This year, it’s further complicated by the fact that both Christmas Day and New Years day fall on a weekend, meaning that the bank holidays have been moved to the following Monday.

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This is what you need to know about how bin collection will work over Christmas and New Year across the UK.

What is the schedule for bin collection over the festive period?

Unfortunately there isn’t one set schedule that bin collections will be following across the UK.

It’s up to each individual council in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to arrange bin collections over Christmas and New Years.

Have you checked when your bins will be collected over the festive period? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Some residents might find that their bins are collected on an earlier date, while others may have them collected on a later date.

The majority of councils won’t be collecting bins on Christmas Day or New Year’s day, but it’s best to check the website of your local council to get dates and times specific to your area.

How do I find the bin day Christmas calendar in my area?

If you live in England or Wales, you can find your local council’s website by entering your postcode into the local council finder on the Government website. 

If you live in Scotland, you can find your local council using the dropdown menu on the My Gov site. 

Collection dates will vary from council to council over the Christmas and New Year period (Photo: Shutterstock)

Finally, if you live in Northern Ireland, you can find your local council’s website by looking at the A to Z list of councils on the Northern Ireland Government website.

The Twitter account for your local council is also a good place to check out as well, as these accounts will likely be posting important reminders and guidance.

What Christmas items are recyclable?

When clearing up the inevitable mess that Christmas has made, it’s important that you know what items are recyclable and what items are destined for the bin.

Do you know what you can and cannot recycle? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Recycling Now offers the following guidance:

  • Real Christmas trees can be recycled and turned into chippings for parks
  • Most Christmas cards are paper based and therefore can be recycled, along with their envelopes - any extras, like ribbons, glitters or bows cannot be recycled and therefore should be removed from the card prior to recycling 
  • Christmas decorations like baubles and tinsel are not recyclable, but if they’re still in good condition you should hold on to them and reuse them next year
  • Natural materials on wreaths, like ivy, fir cones, mistletoe and holly, can be composted, as long as they haven’t been decorated with lots of glitter 
  • It can be tricky to know if wrapping paper can be recycled - as a rule of thumb, try out the scrunch test. If you scrunch up the paper and it doesn’t spring back, it means it’s not made of foil and can be recycled 
  • Cardboard boxes are readily recycled - again, remove any excess sticky tape and any plastic or polystyrene inserts before recycling 

Since the rules on recycling can change from council to council, you can use the Recycle Now postcode checker to easily look up what you can and cannot recycle at home.

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