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Christmas recycling advice for Allerdale residents

Residents across Allerdale encouraged to recycle considerately at Christmas and know what can and can’t go in their kerbside collections.

Allerdale Borough Council operates the kerbside recycling service in the borough and will continue to run collections over the Christmas period, with some households experiencing changes to their normal collection day. Find out more at

Recycling is extremely important in protecting the environment and helping to tackle climate change. 


How can I cut down on the waste I produce?

  • Reduce! The less we buy in the way of excess packaging, unwanted food and other items the less that will have to go in the bin and better it will be for the environment.  
  • Re-use! If you have something that can be re-used why throw it away? Things like gift bags are often re-useable, can you use some old newspaper instead of buying new wrapping paper or what about being creative and use an old scarf or other textile to wrap presents up this year instead?  


What can/can't I recycle?

Making sure the right items go in the right bins or boxes is also very important, as incorrect items or those ‘contaminated’ could jeopardise a wagon-load of recycling and mean it is not accepted by our end users. This would have knock-on effects for the environment and the taxpayer.

  • Wrapping paper – Does it pass the scrunch test? If you scrunch wrapping paper into a ball and it holds the shape then it is more than likely recyclable and can go in the blue-lidded bin or green sack. If you scrunch and it unfolds then it isn’t recyclable and needs to go in with the general waste. Some papers are lined with a plastic coating that makes them non-recyclable. Also make sure to remove as much sticky tape as possible before putting into your paper/card recycling.
  • Christmas cards – If they are decorated with glitter or items such as ribbons then these must be removed before putting in the paper/card recycling bin or box.
  • Packaging – as many people move to buying more goods online it means there’s potential for more boxes and packing to accumulate at home so make sure to squash boxes where possible so they can fit into your bin. However, be careful as many boxes can contain polystyrene which should not go in your paper recycling and should go in the household waste. Also, laminated cardboard (or if it’s lined with foil or plastic) should not go in the paper recycling container – use the rip test to check if it’s recyclable... if it rips it can be recycled if not then it can’t. Remove any plastic ‘windows’ from the packaging  
  • Christmas trees – there are local charities who carry out tree collections for a small donation and will dispose of the tree correctly, so consider making use of their service. Otherwise to ensure your tree is usefully recycled then we would advise you to cut it and store it in your garden bin until collections restart in spring or take it to a HWRC (tip). If you are unable to do this then leave any tree placed next to a household waste bin to be collected. 


Other ways to recycle in Allerdale

The council also operates a number of ‘bring sites’ or small recycling centres across the borough for use by residents. Although these can take can take glass, cans and plastics as well as paper and card, please do not leave larger items like white goods at the sites. Also, if the recycling banks are full please do not leave items on the ground, this is classed as fly-tipping. Please take the items home and recycle them at a later date when there is room.

The bring sites should not be used for business waste. The council provides a competitive trade waste service to businesses.  

Cumbria County Council operates a number of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), including in Wigton, Workington and Maryport but there will be some changes to their operation over the Christmas period. 

For 2020 all HWRC's will be closed on Christmas day (Fri 25th Dec), Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and all sites will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We urge people not to dump waste outside the gates when they are closed as this is classed as fly-tipping and could result in a fine. Sites will be open their usual hours on all other days.