The holiday season is the most awaited time of the year when we can relax, rest, and enjoy family time. However, during this period, waste volumes increase due to more grocery shopping, the giving and receiving of gifts, decorations and more. Thinking of how we can be more sustainable in 2023, we have highlighted top seven tips on reducing, reusing and recycling the holidays’ waste at home.
1. Household Bins
Ensure you maximise the space in your bins by breaking down waste before you put it in. This is especially important for the recycling bin. Cardboard boxes and packaging can quickly take up a lot of space, so be sure to break down bulkier items. Remember that overflowing bins or items left out beside your bins may not be taken away.
As a safety precaution, we always advise our customers not to leave boxes of expensive items, such as new TVs or game consoles beside their bins as this may encourage theft. If you do not have space for such boxes, bring them to your local civic amenity site, or store them in a shed or garage until you have sufficient room to put them in your bin.
If your bin is overflowing well in advance of your collection day, call the Barna Customer Care Team on 091 771619 to discuss your options.
2. Christmas Trees
Real Christmas trees can easily be recycled or shredded into chippings and used in parkland areas. Artificial Christmas trees cannot be recycled but can be reused and donated to family, friends, or a local charity shop. If these are not possible, you can bring your artificial Christmas trees to a civic amenity site to dispose of. Find your nearest civic amenity site here.
An artificial Christmas tree is seen as a bulky waste item. It can be brought to your local civic amenity site (except our civic amenity site in Clifden) to be disposed of. Our civic amenity sites will also accept real Christmas trees. Find out more ways on how you can recycle or replant your Christmas tree.
A cool fact to know is that if a household reuses a plastic tree for up to five years, it’s carbon footprint will be smaller than a household that buys a real tree every year.
3. Decorations & Baubles
When taking down your decorations, some items may be broken and need to be disposed of. Often items that are deemed to be single-use items can be used again, so before you dispose of everything, take a minute to think if this could be used again next year. It is best to sort through your decorations as you are taking them down. Please note that any electrical items that contain a battery must also have the batteries removed before being disposed of or for safety reasons.
Items such as tinsel that can’t be used again can be placed in the general waste bin. Fresh wreaths can be put into your compost bin once you take off any non-compostable materials. Broken glass baubles need to be brought to the bottle bank, and lights and electrical appliances that no longer work can be brought to a WEE disposal site. Any decorations wholly made of metal should be brought to your local civic amenity site.
4. Holidays Cards
It is safe to place the holiday cards you received in your home recycling bin. These may not be recyclable if the card contains glitter or any bulky designs. Any plastic, paper or cardboard design materials are recyclable. Still, if it contains excess glitter, ribbons or homemade cards that contain glue, these cards must go in the general waste bin.
5. Wrapping Paper
The most important thing to note is that not all wrapping paper is recyclable. Any wrapping paper containing glitter, foil, or tape will have to go in the waste bin. The ribbon also goes in your general waste bin – or you can save it and reuse it again for wrapping presents next year.
Try and save any reusable pieces of wrapping paper and store them safely for next year. Save any gift bags that can be used again next year too. But be sure to take off any name tags from the bag!
Plastic toys can be brought to the civic amenity site. If the toys are in good condition, they can be brought to your local charity shop or donated to family and friends.
7. Batteries and Chargers
Batteries are still important for controllers and children’s toys. However, they cannot be disposed of at home. You must bring them back to where they were purchased or to a civic amenity site. Electrical items such as chargers also need to be disposed of correctly. They need to be returned to where they were purchased or brought to a WEEE drop-off recycling point or your local Civic Amenity Site to be disposed of. Click here for more information on how to dispose of WEEE the right way.
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