Wrap Up Christmas – how to recycle all your festive stuff

Christmas Tree Disposal

According to superstition, spirits live in the pine trees we bring into our homes as Christmas Trees and the spirits must be released before Twelfth Night so they can get back into the fields to help the crops grow. So what is the best thing to do with your Christmas Tree after Twelfth Night?

Various recycling services offered by local councils and other organisations will compost or chip your tree for mulch:

West Berkshire Council will collect real Christmas trees for recycling (even if you have not subscribed to the garden waste service). Please put your tree out with your recycling and make sure all lights, decorations and pots have been removed and cut trees over 4 ft high in half. See more details here.

• For details of  similar arrangements in surrounding areas please see Vale of White Horse, Wiltshire and Swindon.

• You can take your trees to Hungerford High Street on Sun 9 Jan 10am – 1pm for chipping. By donation to local charities.

• Prospect Hospice has teamed up with the charity Just Helping to collect real Christmas trees from homes and businesses in Swindon and the surrounding area for the first time, in return for a donation. The collections will be on 8 and 9 January 2022.

Thanks to the Lambourn Christmas Tree Farm for these suggestions:
• put your tree in the garden and redecorate with treats for the birds
• slice the branches into discs to make decorative wreaths that are not just for Christmas!
• turn the logs into bug hotels
• make next year’s Christmas decorations with this year’s tree!
We find that very dry Christmas tree branches make excellent kindling in an open fire or a wood burner, although we’ve been advised by a local sweep that the resin might cause a dangerous build up in the flue.
For next year you could consider buying a living Christmas Tree in a pot that will last with care from year to year.


Received a surfeit of smellies this year? There is only so much you can use so why not donate some to a local good cause looking for raffle or auction prizes? Unwanted Christmas presents are gratefully received by Trindledown National Animal Welfare Trust in Great Shefford and Age UK’s shop in Kingsland Centre, Thatcham.

Plastic Sweet & Cracker Tubs

From Jacobs crackers to Celebrations, Christmas is a time for big plastic tubs with plastic code PP5. The Tubs 2 Pubs campaign collects the tubs for recycling in aid of MacMillan Cancer until 31 January. Tubs can be taken to The Bear Hotel in Hungerford, left at Melinda Varju’s existing TerraCycle collection point at 2 White Lodge Cottage, Speen, RG14 1QT or collected by Thatcham Refillable.

Tubs can be dropped off or handed over to Paula by arrangement in Kintbury – it’s best to contact Jenny by Messenger to arrange a handover to Paula.


You can recycle your cards in the paper recycling collection but just make sure to remove any non-paper attachments first.
• cut them up to make gift tags for next year
fold them into small boxes with a lid
fold them into pillow boxes
to re-use your cards by turning them into bunting etc.

Wrapping Paper

Unfortunately, much Christmas wrapping paper – particularly if it is very shiny or has glitter – cannot be recycled and needs to put in the general waste. Do the scrunch test by trying to squeeze paper into a ball and if it doesn’t stay scrunched this indicates that it contains other materials as well as paper which means it cannot be recycled.

For next year, look into fabric wrapping which is more easily re-used than paper. Or if you want to stick with paper, think about securing it with ribbon or string instead of cellotape.

Leftover Food & Drink

Click here for some recipe ideas for using up your Christmas leftovers.

Got a few unfinished bottles of plonk around the house that you can’t face? Did you know that you can freeze wine? Click here for tips including freezing wine in an ice-cue tray for cooking or making sangria etc (freezing can affect the flavour so you might not want to drink it straight)


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Covering: Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage, Lambourn, Compton, Swindon & Theale