Boris calls on Londoners to recycle this Christmas

21 December 2012

This festive season more than a million Christmas trees will light up London homes and Londoners will use enough wrapping paper to circle the equator. So the Mayor, Boris Johnson, is asking everyone to do their bit and recycle this Christmas to help save the city millions of pounds.


Recycling reduces the amount local boroughs having to pay, with taxpayers’ money, for high landfill charges - it costs 40 per cent more to dispose of black bin rubbish than to recycle. Recycling the extra Christmas rubbish would save around £3.5million for London.


So Recycle for London - backed by the Mayor - is urging that once the presents are unwrapped, the Christmas feasts devoured, and the twelve days are over not to bin the rubbish but recycle it.


Over the two weeks of Christmas and New Year, London will generate an extra 29,000 tonnes of household rubbish:


An estimated 2,000 tonnes of glass is thrown out in the capital over the festive period – from champagne and sherry bottles to mincemeat and cranberry sauce jars. Recycling all of them could save 630 tonnes of carbon being produced, which is equivalent to taking around 195 cars off the road for one year. You can check what you can recycle where you live at


London throws out an estimated 675 tonnes of tin foil, which weighs the same as 450 Mini cars. You can drop off waste foil at your nearest recycling bank or enter your postcode on to see whether your kerbside collection scheme accepts it.


Around 75 tonnes of Christmas tree lights are discarded in London. If they are in good working order you could donate them to a charity shop.


Wherever you are in London there is no need to throw out your Christmas tree as every London borough offers a Christmas tree recycling service. To find out more visit your council website for information or visit the Where Can I Recycle section of The Greater London Authority will chip the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree for recycling on January 7th and the chippings will be used as fertilizer.


The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'London's borough councils provide a range of services to ensure the capital's forest of discarded Christmas trees and acres of wrapping paper can be recycled rather than chucked in the bin. Taking a little extra time to recycle your festive waste is not only good for the environment, but can help save local councils millions of pounds at a time when every penny counts.'


The dates that your council collects recycling from your home, may change over the festive period, check your council website for information or visit the Where Can I Recycle section of for relevant contact details.


Recycle for London is also running the Love Food Hate Waste campaign which is helping Londoners save up to £50 per month by throwing away less food. Find out how you can save up to £50 per month off your grocery shopping bill by visiting

Notes to editors

The Recycle for London campaign is funded by the London Waste and Recycling Board to reduce waste and is supported by WRAP and the Mayor of London.


Figures used in this release are sourced from WRAP Recycle Now Christmas 2012 Brief based on WRAP research from 2007, Economic Modelling for the Mayor’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy, GLA, 2010; GLA Survey of Boroughs, 2009; WRAP Kerbside Recycling: Indicative costs and performance, 2008; Capital Waste facts London currently recycles 34.2 per cent of its household rubbish and we estimate that 60 per cent of the average bin can be recycled.


For more information on the Recycle for London campaign go to