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Christmas recycling top tips and new kerbside battery collections

With Christmas fast approaching, Wiltshire Council is letting people know the best ways they can recycle their waste this Christmas, including the new kerbside battery collection service.

Published 21 December 2022

With Christmas fast approaching, Wiltshire Council is letting people know the best ways they can recycle their waste this Christmas, including the new kerbside battery collection service.

The convenient kerbside battery collection service is proving popular with residents, with more than six tonnes of household batteries collected already.

With many people likely to already be storing a number of used or spent batteries ahead of the festive season, they now have the option to simply leave them on top of their blue-lidded bin in a sealed, transparent plastic bag ready for collection.

People may have replaced the batteries in their Christmas lights, or perhaps a dancing Santa - whatever the source, waste crews can now collect most small household batteries for recycling, as long as they are not leaking; including D, C, AA, AAA, 9V and button-type batteries. However we are unable to accept Li-ion, vapes, and hoover and laptop batteries, so residents are politely reminded to only include those that are permitted for collection. These batteries can be disposed of at household recycling centres.

The new service was introduced on 5 December, and over the first nine days five tonnes of batteries were collected.

Every year hundreds of fires at waste facilities across the country are linked to batteries thrown out in the bin. People can help to prevent fires and keep staff safe by only disposing of batteries using the new kerbside collection service or at battery collection points at locations such as supermarkets.

As part of the council's work to lead the way in mitigating the climate challenges ahead, innovative solutions are being sought to cut carbon emissions. This new service is an example of a solution which protects the environment and provides a better service for residents, as well as helping the council to recycle as much as possible.

As well as ensuring batteries are disposed of correctly for recycling, residents can also follow these top tips to recycle as much as possible this Christmas and New Year period:

  • Wrapping paper- Only paper wrapping paper can be recycled. To check if wrapping paper is made of paper, people can use the scrunch test. Scrunch the paper and if it stays in a ball, it can be recycled in your blue-lidded bin.
  • Real Christmas trees -If residents have signed up to garden waste collections, they can leave their real Christmas tree next to their green bin on their first scheduled collection in January and the council will collect it for composting. Alternatively, people can make a small donation to charities who collect Christmas trees. More information can be found at Just Helping (opens new window).
  • Packaging -Recently there has been an increase in plastic bags and polystyrene (typically used for packaging) being incorrectly disposed of in blue-lidded bins which can damage waste machinery. People can see all the things they can (and can't) recycle this Christmas at .

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Waste, said: "I'm really pleased that we've been able to introduce battery collections in time for Christmas when many of us will typically use more.

"Collections at the kerbside are much quicker and easier for residents and also make it less likely that people will dispose of batteries in the bin, which is linked to hundreds of fires at waste facilities every year.

"If people continue to take advantage of the new battery collection service and also follow these recycling top tips, we can recycle even more of what we use in Wiltshire this Christmas."

People are reminded to only present batteries in a transparent plastic bag so waste crews can check that the batteries are accepted and not leaking.

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