Christmas waste could cost councils £78 million

January 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm

If you were left wondering what to do with your Christmas tree earlier this week, you could do worse than follow the example of London Mayor, Boris Johnson, who had the 65 foot tree in Trafalgar Square chipped, shredded and composted to be turned at a later stage into fertilising mulch.

In London alone, 35 tonnes of Christmas trees are thrown away, resulting in a large bill for landfill tax. The London Mayor was therefore urging all householders to take advantage of the recycling facilities for Christmas trees offered by all 33 London Boroughs. 27 of these will collect trees from homes whilst 26 also offer special collection points. Alternatively Christmas trees which have roots can be planted in the garden and dug up in time for next Christmas.

This advice follows the revelation that local councils for England and Wales could face a huge bill for disposing of Christmas waste in landfill. With householders sending almost 2 million tonnes of Christmas waste to landfill and councils being charged £40 tax per tonne, it is easy to see how a bill of around £78 million arises.

One celebrity supporting the recycling message in the run up to Christmas was Dame Judi Dench, who was encouraging people to recycle their Christmas cards through the Woodland Trust’s scheme. This enables householders to take their cards to special collection points in T K Max, Marks and Spencer and W H Smith and then go online to choose where they want trees to be planted using funding from the retail partners. For further details of the scheme see the Trust’s website.

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