'Tis The Season To Recycle

Festive eco tips including recipes for leftovers from top chefs

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The amount of wrapping paper estimated to be thrown away in London during the Christmas period could stretch around the Equator, giving residents a golden opportunity to instead boost the capital’s recycling rate.

Every year London throws out an estimated 675 tonnes of tin foil (this is enough to cover around 225 square miles) and 2000 tonnes of glass during the festive season.

From wine and sherry bottles to mincemeat and cranberry sauce jars, recycling all of them could save 630 tonnes of climate change emissions being produced, which is equivalent to taking around 195 cars off London's roads for one year.

The waste and recycling organisation, WRAP, has published a fantastic range of imaginative ways to use up your excess food or leftovers rather than bin them via their Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

Mayor Boris Johnson said, "The festive period is a cracking time to prove your eco-credentials by taking time out to recycle, or to get creative with leftovers to cut down on food waste. Let’s put London’s recycling rate through the roof this Christmas and New Year."

Festive Eco tips:

* Give to charity any unwanted gifts or donate clothes if new gifts cause your wardrobe to overflow;

* Donate furniture or electrical items to your local Community Recycle Network www.crn.org.uk or offer on the local Freecycle website www.freecycle.com or Britain's home grown version, freegle www.ilovefreegle.org

* Reuse wire ties and ribbons - gift bags can be reused again and again;

* Use your freezer for excess food and leftover, visit http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

* Check out ways to use up your leftovers with top chefs, visit: www.recycleforlondon.com and http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipes

* Look out for gifts with packaging that can be reused or recycled easily. Some retailers are packaging goods in tins that can be easily recycled or plastics containers that can be used for food storage at home;

* An estimated 75 tonnes of Christmas tree lights are discarded in London over the Christmas period, but even lights that are beyond repair can be recycled! Check whether your local authority waste collection site will accept them.

December 22, 2009