Essex residents urged to recycle this Christmas

ESSEX county council is encouraging residents to consider the planet this Christmas by reducing, reusing and recycling and to pay a visit to waste and carbon reduction websites www.recycleforessex.co.uk and www.essex.gov.uk/greenhouse for some great ideas

ESSEX county council is encouraging residents to consider the planet this Christmas by reducing, reusing and recycling and to pay a visit to waste and carbon reduction websites www.recycleforessex.co.uk and www.essex.gov.uk/greenhouse for some great ideas on how to help the Earth this Christmas.

People get rid of the most amount of waste of the year during the festive season with discarded wrapping paper, food and even unwanted presents adding to a mountain of potential waste.

But it doesn't have to be that way. This year in Essex, residents have already saved around four and a half bin sacks of non-recycled waste and Essex County Council is confident that households will continue with this fantastic effort during the festive period.

To help them, the County Council's Waste and Reduction Team have identified four festive areas where residents can have the most impact in reducing waste and helping the environment. They are:


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1. Donate and recycle your old cards to the Woodland Trust for them to raise money to plant new trees. The Trust collected 59 million cards last year and planted 141,000 trees. You can donate your cards at branches of WH Smith, TK Maxx and Marks and Spencer from the start of January.

2. Try to avoid using foil-based wrapping paper which cannot be easily recycled and harms the environment.

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3. Visit your local recycling centre after Christmas with your festive waste (they are open on the 27th)

4. Visit www.recycleforessex.co.uk for more festive tips on helping the environment this Christmas.

And there are ways to reduce your carbon impact too:

- Try to only use your dishwasher if it is full, and then make sure it is on the right cycle. Some offer an economy setting, which is more efficient. If you only have a few items, why not wash them by hand?

- Put a lid on the pan when cooking the sprouts. You could reduce the amount of energy you use by an amazing 90%, saving you money and helping the environment.

- When you shop for food, consider the number of miles it has travelled to reach you. By opting for local produce that's in season you support the local economy and save tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.

- For more carbon reducing tips for Christmas visit www.essex.gov.uk/greenhouse

Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, Councillor Tracey Chapman, said: "Christmas time is all about giving and receiving but we want to remind residents that it doesn't have to be to the detriment of our environment.

"There are so many simple ways to reduce our impact on the environment throughout the year and it's just as easy at Christmas.

"You can drop off your Christmas waste at a recycling centre, give your old Christmas cards to the Woodland Trust to plant new trees, or even just make sure you put the lids on your saucepans.

"May I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a waste free New Year".

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