The Highland Council is reminding householders and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible over the festive period to prevent unnecessary waste.
Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer Customer and Communities said: "We find that a lot more rubbish is generated by householders and businesses around Christmas time so it's an important time to think about how we can make more sustainable choices. Gifting time, experiences or memberships rather than stuff is a great way to have a zero waste Christmas, or simply choosing gifts that are packaged and wrapped in recyclable materials. Consider looking in charity shops where you might just find the perfect pre-loved present and remember you can donate any unwanted gifts after Christmas!"
She continued: "Last year, around 43% of the 143,000 tonnes of waste generated in Highland was recycled. However, we could be diverting more waste from landfill so we are encouraging everyone to do their bit and use their blue recycling bins as much as possible over the Christmas period." Empty glass bottles can be taken to your local bottle bank or Recycling Centre, and don't forget that real Christmas trees can also go to the Recycling Centre for composting.
Christmas cards, paper wrapping paper, paper packaging, cardboard, food tins, drinks cans, envelopes, food and drink cartons, aerosols and clean plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays can all be recycled in blue bins. Unfortunately, black plastic food trays cannot be recycled, so please leave these out of blue recycling bins.
Christmas is often a time of excess food waste: throwing away good food costs the average Scottish household £460 per year. Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for tips on saving money, preventing waste and using up Christmas leftovers.
Recycling Centres are open throughout the Christmas period except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 1st and 2nd January. Check www.highland.gov.uk/recycle for full details of Recycling Centre opening hours and for the full range of materials accepted. Householders are reminded to separate waste before arriving at the site, as recyclable items should not go in the landfill skip and black bags may be checked.