The annual spike in Christmas waste has prompted Lake Macquarie City Council to urge residents to recycle wherever possible this festive season.
While bins often fill quickly with wrapping paper and other present-related packaging, it’s important to know what could and couldn’t be recycled when it came to Yuletide left-overs, according to manager waste services Paul Collins.
“It can sometimes seem a little overwhelming on Christmas Day, with gifts being opened at a rate of knots and wrapping paper, ribbons and everything else flying everywhere in the excitement,” he said.
“But, if you take just a few moments to sort it into little piles as the kids unwrap their presents, it will save time later on and will help keep your recycling free from contamination.”
While most wrapping paper can be recycled, foil paper, ribbons, bows and cellophane cannot.
Much of the packaging for toys and other gifts can also be recycled.
Cardboard boxes, shaped plastic packaging, paper/cardboard gift tags and paper gift bags are all able to go in the yellow bin, while softer plastics that can be scrunched into a ball can be recycled at REDcycle stations at some local supermarkets.
So, too, can particular brands of cling film: Glad, Coles Home Brand and Woolworths Essentials.
Foil trays, plastic plates, bowls and cutlery, paper napkins and Christmas cards can also go in the yellow bin.
Polystyrene or styrofoam blocks used to protect electronic goods and other items can’t be placed in the yellow bin.
However, Mr Collins said they could be dropped at the Awaba Waste Management Facility, where they are melted down in a compactor and sent for processing to be recycled into new products.
Electonic waste such as old mobile phones, computers, printers, toasters and kettles can also be dropped at the Awaba Waste Management Facility’s Community Recycling Centre, where they will be sent for recycling, reprocessing or responsible disposal.
“It’s also important to remember that all food waste, including most seafood, meat and poultry bones, as well as household quantities of paper towel, can go into the green waste bin,” he added.
“This will all go back to the REMONDIS Lake Macquarie Organics Resource Recovery Facility and be converted into compost for use on parks, gardens and farms.”