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Copeland ready for a recycling Christmas

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Copeland is ready to recycle this festive season!

This Christmas is the second since the council launched its new recycling service and it’s hoped residents will now be finding it second nature.

Janice Carrol, Copeland’s Community Services Manager, said: “Most Copeland residents are now recycling and it’s a great time of year to make the most of our kerbside collections of card, plastic, metal, paper and glass.

“Even well before the festivities start, we know people will have cardboard boxes as their online Christmas shopping starts to arrive.

“That’s not to mention all the extra materials that come from the party season – more card packaging than usual and of course cans and bottles from the celebrations.

The council is also expecting to see lots of Christmas cards amongst the recycling, but unfortunately will no longer be collecting wrapping paper. Mrs Carrol said: “More people have been using foiled, plastic-coated and glittery papers, which are not recyclable.. The paper mills have rejected some loads and consequently our buyer no longer accepts wrapping paper.

"It can be added to residents' household waste bin, but we are hoping people will look at alternative wrapping methods – like brown paper, pretty fabric, or reusable boxes, tied with non-plastic ribbon or string. We will be sharing the best of these ideas on social media in the run-up to Christmas.”

Residents can put out as much recycling as they wish, as long as it is clean, sorted and securely placed so that it can’t blow away. Mrs Carrol added: “We will be collecting larger-than-usual amounts of recycling at Christmas, so it would be really great if people can keep making the effort to wash and squash their recycling. It means you can get more in your containers and we can fit more in our vehicles before they need to be emptied at the depot."

Anyone who needs a free elasticated cover for their recycling box can collect one from the council’s offices in Whitehaven Market Place or St George’s Road in Millom. Residents are asked to use their original recycling boxes and bags where possible, as they are designed to clip easily to the side of the vehicle for unloading. If additional containers are used, they must not be heavy or over-filled.

The council has issued some useful tips to help residents get the most out of recycling this Christmas and new year.

*Remove the sticky tape from any packaging
*Don't include curling ribbon or stick-on bows, which are made of plastic
*Only recycle gift bags if they are made of plain paper or card - a foil or glossy finish can't be recycled. Re-use them instead.
*If you have brown paper from parcels, please include it with your card recycling (not paper).
*Online delivery boxes can be put into your white bag - remember to take out any polystyrene and packing tape, and flatten it down as much as possible.
*Christmas cards - glitter can't be recycled so tear off that part as well as any batteries or badges. Why not cut them up and make gift tags?
*Cans and bottles can of course be recycled. Keep the metal tops on your bottles as these will be recycled too
*Aluminium food trays can be recycled, just give them a rinse and make sure they’re free of food
*Large biscuit tins can be added to your tins and cans for recycling, and large plastic chocolate tubs can go with the plastics
*The clean foil from your turkey can be put in your black box with cans, or taken to a bring site. Just make sure it's scrunched into a ball so that it doesn't blow away.
*Instead of sending Christmas cards, send a festive e-card instead.
*Try making environmentally friendly crackers or decorations from paper or other waste items.

For the four per cent of homes that don’t get kerbside deliveries, the council’s bring sites will be open and regularly serviced – a list can be found at

Christmas trees - the most environmentally-friendly option is an artificial tree, but if you have a real one, cut it up and add it to your brown garden bin for when collections restart in the spring.

Picture caption: Members of the Copeland recycling team get ready for festive collections.