Christmas Recycling Guide

Christmas is a time of excess – more food, more presents, more stuff. And that also means we produce more waste. In fact, we recycle more over Christmas in Greater Manchester than at any other time of year. So, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you recycle properly this festive season.

Festive recycling tips

A scrunched up ball of Christmas wrapping paper

Wrapping Paper

Not all wrapping paper is actually paper. Some is made with plastic or foil. To check if it can be recycled, try the scrunch test. If you can scrunch the paper into a ball and it stays scrunched, you can recycle it.

Cardboard box with torn wrapping paper


Before recycling your cardboard boxes, take out all plastic packaging, bubble wrap and polystyrene. They are all made with plastic and can’t be recycled, so put them in your general waste bin.

Greetings card with glitter on it


Cards and wrapping paper with glitter can’t be recycled. This is because glitter is made from plastic and can’t be separated out in the recycling process. Put it into general waste.

Fairy Lights

Christmas tree lights, wires, cables and other electrical items can’t go in any of your bins at home. You can recycle them at your local Recycling Centre.

Festive recycling blogs

Deck the Halls sustainably

We’ve put together 5 crafty ways you can get in the Christmas spirit without the waste. Let’s get creative!

Christmas Tree recycling

You can take your Christmas tree to your local Recycling Centre. Some councils also have collection points.

Give the gift of composting

Composting at home has never been easier, even in a small flat! Residents get £10 a compost bin.

old batteries

Old batteries start fires

If you have dead batteries, you can recycle them at most supermarkets and electrical shops, or at any recycling centre.

Make the most of your food

Don’t let your food go to waste this Christmas. There’s loads of ways to recycle your food waste. Give these leftover recipes a go, or turn it into compost.

Sustainable gifts by Renew

Have a more sustainable Christmas (while also giving back) by getting pre-loved, repaired and upcycled gifts from our Renew Shops.


Recycling Centres are usually busy during the Christmas period. If you do visit a Recycling Centre then be sure to plan ahead. Check our Christmas opening times and sort your recycling before setting off.

Friday 23rd December8am-6pm
Christmas Eve 8am-6pm
Christmas DayClosed
Boxing Day8am-6pm
Tuesday 27th December8am-6pm

New Years Eve

New Years Day Closed

Recycle for Greater Manchester