GLOUCESTERSHIRE’S Joint Waste Team is encouraging residents to enjoy a greener Christmas by reducing, reusing and recycling their waste in the run up to the big day. 

While Christmas is a time of celebration for many, the season also brings a dramatic increase in the amount of rubbish making its way into refuse bins up and down the country. 

Along with the equivalent of four million Christmas dinners being ditched, it is estimated that 500 tonnes of tree lights will be binned – despite the fact that both are wholly recyclable. 

People in the UK will use enough wrapping paper to stretch to the moon and enough foil to cover an area greater in size than the whole of Gloucestershire, all adding to the burden of festive waste.

To help residents reduce the amount they throw away, the Recycle for Gloucestershire website will feature an online Advent calendar throughout December.

Behind each window there will be a useful tip, hint or web link giving advice about how to recycle items such as broken electrical equipment and left over food, as well as ideas on how to reuse items which might otherwise make their way into the rubbish bin

Councillor Sue Coakley, cabinet member for the environment at Cotswold District Council and chairwoman of Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Committee said: “When it comes to reducing waste, every little bit really does help.

“We hope that the online Advent calendar will be a fun way to encourage residents to adopt more environmentally friendly routines.

“Something as simple as writing a list can help focus the mind when doing the big Christmas food shop.

“Make sure you only purchase what is needed and avoid impulse buys and offers on unnecessary items which might ultimately end up in the bin.

“However, it is not only food waste which is a big environmental problem at this time of year. 

“Whether it’s receiving a new item of clothing as a gift, treating yourself to a new party outfit, buying a ‘wear it once’ Christmas-themed jumper or having a sort out of the wardrobe in anticipation of the January sales, textile waste also tends to peak around this time.

“Old, unwanted clothes can be put to good use by recycling them at any one of the recycling bank sites in Gloucestershire or at one of our Household Recycling Centres.

“Better still, if the clothing is of good quality, why not donate it to a charity shop and support a worthwhile cause instead?  Throwing textiles into the bin really should be the last resort.”

The Recycle for Gloucestershire online Advent calendar is available throughout December: