Have Your-ELF a GREENer Christmas

Written by on 6th December 2022

The naughty and nice Elves have arrived in Rhondda Cynon Taf. They will be helping residents to find their inner green elves to recycle as much as possible over the festive period!

Residents can find out what can and can’t be recycled by following the online tips and advice and having a bit of clean, green fun along the way.

Small steps and the elves can have a MIGHTY BIG effect on recycling!

Small but MIGHTY changes, like rinsing items in leftover dishwater before placing items into clear recycling bags, mean that one small tin with leftover bean juice doesn’t ruin a whole bag of recycling. Or even worse, ruin an entire lorry load once collected.

It’s also important to know what, where and how to recycle your household items! Luckily, RCT Council has an A-Z searchable online guide available 24/7 for residents to use!

Recycling plays an essential role in tackling climate change, and just as those pesky elves show us, it’s often the little things that can make a HUGE difference in our homes (for good or bad)!

The festive period often includes lots of food and presents, and household waste is estimated to increase by over 30% during this time, which means lots of extra recycling!

Those naughty elves also have a lot to answer for with their midnight antics! From toilet roll jumping to banana splits and wrapping the kitchen cupboards, let’s remember to be good elves and recycle the toilet roll, rolls and wrapping paper in the CLEAR bags and recycle the banana skin in the food waste bin!

Residents can enjoy a GREEN holiday by recycling all their unavoidable food waste (turkey bones, plate scrapings etc), extra plastic bottles, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, real Christmas trees, tubs and trays, metal cans, glass bottles, jars, cardboard packaging and lots more, during the festive season. Please note elves are NOT recyclable ��.

A recent survey on Let’s Talk (the Council’s online engagement tool), showed that 100% of participants said that they use the Council’s recycling services, 97% said they do so weekly, and 95% said they use the food waste recycling service.

From April 2021 – April 2022, RCT residents recycled over 59,900 tonnes. The bad news is over 4,220 additional tonnes had to be thrown away due to contamination. That would have resulted in a further 6.5% recycled!

We collected a staggering 12,300 tonnes of food waste during the same period, BUT over 482 tonnes were contaminated and could not be recycled! That’s nearly 4% more food waste that could have been recycled.

Food waste accounts for almost 20% of what is collected monthly in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The good news is that, out of the recycled food waste, enough energy was generated to power around 1180 homes!

If residents continue these efforts over the festive period and take those small extra steps, we are on target to have ‘Our-ELFS a GREEN Christmas’.

Of course, the easiest items to recycle at Christmas are all the plastic and paper/cardboard packaging you’ll come across during the festive period.

After the presents are unwrapped and you’re wondering how to clear away the mountain of boxes, paper bags and wrapping paper, simply pick up your clear recycling bag and fill it up.

Please remember to put ALL wrapping paper into a separate CLEAR bag, including foil or glitter wrapping paper. Also, flatten any cardboard boxes and paper bags to make space in your recycling.

To free up even more space, you can also visit one of the local community recycling centres (CRCs) to dispose of your non-kerbside items such as clothes, old toys and electrical items. Please ensure you sort your waste before visiting.

Our CRCs are open from 8am until 5.30pm every day except for a 3.30pm closure on 24th and 31st December and complete closure on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and re-open on Monday 2nd January 2023.

Visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/ChristmasRecycling for full details.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said:

“I’d like to wish all our residents a Green Christmas and thank every one of them for supporting a greener future for RCT all year round.

“The festive period means extra waste and it’s a great time to find your inner elf, think green and recycle all the additional packaging, wrapping paper and cards.

“Rhondda Cynon Taf Council encourages residents to keep up the good work all year round. The Council provides an accessible and innovative recycling service complemented by ongoing public education and awareness-raising.

“The support of our householders towards our food waste recycling has been amazing so far.

“Keep up the great work, and let’s all take the small steps to help fight Climate Change and make 2023 an even Greener New Year.”

Changes to collections over the Festive Period:

Your weekly collections for recycling, food, nappies and black bag waste will change during Christmas week.

Collections due on Monday 26th December will be collected on Tuesday 27th December and will skip a day all week -Tuesday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Thursday, Thursday to Friday, Friday to Saturday.

All refuse and recycling (including nappies and food waste recycling) should be placed at its collection point by 7am on your revised collection days.

Normal Working Days Revised Working Days
Monday 26th December Tuesday 27th December (Bank Holiday)
Tuesday 27th December Wednesday 28th December
Wednesday 28th December Thursday 29th December
Thursday 29th December Friday 30th December
Friday 30th December Saturday 31st December

There will be NO CHANGES to your weekly collections for recycling, food, nappies and black bag waste the following week, the week commencing Monday 2nd January (New Year week).

All refuse and recycling (including nappies and food waste recycling) should be placed at their usual collection point by 7am on your usual collection day.

Normal Working Days Revised Working Days
Monday 2nd January No change (Bank Holiday)
Tuesday 3rd January No change
Wednesday 4th January No change
Thursday 5th January No change
Friday 6th January No change

Other services such as bulky waste collections and delivery of wheelie bins/food waste bins will be suspended from the week commencing 26th December. This allows us to use as many resources as possible to collect the anticipated record amounts of Mighty recycling this Christmas.

Normal services will resume on Monday 9th January.

Real Christmas Tree Collections and Green Waste:

From 5th December, you can book ‘real’ Christmas trees for kerbside collection between 2nd January and 16th January 2023.

Residents must book their ‘real’ Christmas tree collections online at least 24 hours before their revised collection day as they won’t be automatically collected: www.rctcbc.gov.uk/ChristmasTrees

During the booking period, real Christmas trees can be placed out whole. However, trees over 4ft will have to be cut up so the crews can safely lift them. Please remove ALL lights and baubles beforehand.

The fortnightly green waste collection service (including ‘real’ Christmas trees not booked in for collection) will be suspended from the week commencing Monday 26th December. Normal collections resume on Monday 16th January 2023. Green waste, including real Christmas trees, can still be taken to your local CRCs (unbagged) throughout the festive period.

Please Note: Artificial Christmas trees can be taken to a Community Recycling Centre or booked in for a special collection if you want to dispose of them.

Please remember to place ALL refuse and recycling out before 7am on your collection or revised collection day and not before, as this can lead to spillages and difficulties for pedestrians using the pavement.

If we haven’t collected your refuse/recycling as planned, please leave it at the kerbside, as we may be working additional hours to clear a backlog. Our crews can work well into the evening during busy periods, and extra staff can sometimes be called in to remove the items the next day.

Residents can visit one of the many collection points across Rhondda Cynon Taf before the festive period to collect their recycling bags.

The Streetcare Team would also like to remind residents to park sensibly so that they can get the recycling truck down your street.

For more information and tips on recycling your Christmas waste follow us on Facebook or Twitter or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/christmasrecycling

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