This Christmas South Hams District Council is asking residents to help them handle a problem which is affecting many councils up and down the country.
This year many of the companies who process paper and card for local councils are saying that they can no longer take any wrapping paper at all. This means that wrapping paper cannot be put into your blue recycling sacks, it needs to go into your grey bin instead.
Cllr Rufus Gilbert, Executive Member for Commercial Services explains: “We know this is a bit of an issue for residents, many of whom have already bought their wrapping paper. But our hands are tied; if the processors will not take the wrapping paper there is nothing we can do.
“Unfortunately this is the same for the County Council’s recycling centres too, whose processors are also saying no wrapping paper this year.”
It is the materials that go into making some wrapping paper that cause the problem. Wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter, plastics etc. which is why it cannot be recycled.
Some wrapping paper is also very thin and contains few good quality fibres for recycling and because so many people leave sticky tape attached to wrapping paper it makes it very difficult to recycle.
These are some of the reasons why the companies who process our waste have decided not to accept wrapping paper this year.
Cllr Gilbert continued: “Residents can really help us this year by recycling as much of the recyclable materials as they can, to make room in their grey bin for the non-recyclable materials. Food waste is one of the biggest recyclables that often ends up in the grey bin. Please make an extra effort this year to recycle your food waste or freeze your left overs. Clean aluminium foil can go into your clear sacks, along with all plastic bottles, drinks and food cans, empty aerosol cans. Cardboard, ordinary paper, brown paper, envelopes, and drinks cartons can go into the blue sack. Don’t forget plastic yoghurt pots, tubs and trays can be taken to your nearest recycling centre.”
This year South Hams also wanted to remind residents that real Christmas trees shorter than 6ft, can be put it out for collection alongside their brown bin.
For more information about recycling and for great tips, advice and recipes for leftovers, please visit: