With over 10 million turkeys consumed and 370 million mince pies eaten across the UK, the festive period may have taken its toll on your waistline as well as your home. As estimated three million tonnes of waste was created by households across the UK over Christmas and New Year alone! Think how much you’ll generate over the coming year! Fortunately there are many ways you can reduce this unwanted waste and it can help the environment too… Here are Wilko’s top tips to help you reduce your household waste in 2014 along with expert advice from Rachelle at My Zero Waste.

Recycle & re-gift for charity

Charity shops are a great help for those unwanted gifts or items that hang around the home. If you have any unwanted furniture or electrical devices then the Furniture Re-Use Network can pass over any items that would be valuable to families in need and in poverty. Local nursery schools and hospitals always take any unwanted toys whilst many charity shops have card recycling points. Contact your local charity shops for more information.

Encourage the kids

Recycling can be fun and educational for the kids. You can turn recycling into a game or perhaps you could re-use materials for crafts. Ensure you adopt a positive attitude and explain why waste can be re-used. Building a compost heap can also be a great way to teach the kids how recycling works.

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Use recycling centres

Recycling centres are located right across the UK and waste can be separated into glass, paper, metal and organics. This is a great way of helping your local environment and helping your home. By using these centres you are conserving energy and preserving landfill space. Find your nearest recycling centre And now, over to Rachelle from MyZeroWaste for her top five tips for recycling Christmas leftovers and other unwanted goods:

Rachelle from My Zero Waste My Zero Waste


Christmas/birthday/Valentine’s Day/Easter cards – Reuse them to make gift tags  or recycle them – many supermarkets and high street stores have collection bins.

Wrapping paper – Keep good quality paper to reuse (if not too crumpled/torn!) or check with your council about recycling, as not all councils accept wrapping paper. If they don’t you could keep hold of it and use for packaging and storing delicate items.

Wrapping presents & ribbon

Gifts – Did you receive a hideous jumper from your great Aunt or some aftershave that turns your nose, that you haven’t quite been able to bring yourself to get rid of yet? Someone somewhere will love them. Take unwanted gifts to your nearest charity shop or offer them on Freecycle. If you’re brave, re-gift them to friends and family, but make sure you don’t give the recipient their gift back!

Christmas lights & other electricals – Has another set of Christmas lights stopped working? Dispose of them at your nearest WEEE recycling point. Check RecycleNow to find yours.

Food – Refrigerate meat within 2 hours of serving and divide leftovers into smaller portions for freezing. There are thousands of recipes available on the Internet for using up leftover food. Zero Waste Week and Love Food Hate Waste are good sources.

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