ELL’s guide to recycling your festive season waste

Pic: Walt Jabsco

When all the festive fun has been had, and you’re surrounded by torn wrapping paper, leftovers and a slightly sad looking Christmas tree, you’ll need to start working out how to get rid of it all (if only to make room for all the glass recycling that New Year’s Eve will bring).

So here is the Eastlondonlines guide to recycling, waste collection and tree disposal in our boroughs this season.


Christmas recycling:

Tower Hamlets residents can help the environment this Christmas by recycling as much of their festive waste as possible – that includes Christmas trees, cards, boxes and paper, plastic food containers, plastic pots, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, food and drink cans.

Last year around 500 Christmas trees were collected for recycling - they started a whole new life as compost.

To recycle a Christmas tree, residents in blocks of flats should contact their housing manager to find out about local arrangements. Those living in houses can leave their trees on the boundary of their property on their garden waste / food waste recycling day.

Christmas tree collections will take place from 7 January up until 25 January. Only real Christmas trees can be recycled and pots, soil, netting and decorations should be removed as these items cannot be composted.

There will be changes to the collection days over the Christmas and New Year period. From 25 December recycling and waste collection will take place two days later than the normal collection day.  From 1 January, recycling and waste collection will take place one day later than the normal collection day.

Collections return to normal during the week commencing 7 January 2013.

Residents should leave their household waste, recycling, food and garden waste out on their collection day before 7am.

Contact Information:

London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Clean and Green

Mulberry Place (AH)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
E14 1BY

Tel: 020 7364 5004
Fax: 020 7364 6885

Email: generalenquiries@towerhamlets.gov.uk


Christmas Tree recycling:

From 28 December 2012 until 27 January 2013, Lewisham residents can take their unwanted real Christmas trees to any one of 12 designated recycling points.


Post code

Talbot Place - Blackheath SE3
Hilly Fields Park - use Hilly Fields Crescent Entrance SE4
Forster Memorial Park - use entrance at the top of Whitefoot Lane SE6
Deptford Park - use entrance in Scawen Road SE8
Northbrook Park - use entrance in Baring Road SE12
Chinbrook Meadows - use entrance in Amblecote Road SE12
Manor House Gardens - use entrance in Old Road SE13
Mountsfield Park - use entrance at the top of George Lane SE13
Telegraph Hill Park - use entrance on Pepys & Kitto Road SE14
Mayow Park - use entrance in Mayow Road SE23
Sydenham Wells Park - use entrance in Wells Park Road SE26
Beckenham Place Park - use entrance in Old Bromley Road BR1

Tel: 020 8314 7171  Fax: 020 8314 3479            Email: recycle@lewisham.gov.uk

Refuse and recycling collection arrangements for Christmas and New Year 2012–13:

Please make sure they can access your bins on your normal collection day as well as all of the other days listed below. Usual service will resume on Monday 7 January 2013.

Normal collection day

Revised collection day

Monday 24 December Normal day
Tuesday 25 December Thursday 27th December
Wednesday 26 December One or two days later
Thursday 27 December One or two days later
Friday 28 December Normal day or one day later
Monday 31 December Normal day
Tuesday 1 January Wednesday 2nd January
Wednesday 2 January Normal day or one day later
Thursday 3 January Normal day or one day later
Friday 4 January Normal day or one day later

Contact: Refuse Collection

Tel: 020 8314 7171             Email: envirocall@lewisham.gov.uk

Contact: Recycling

Tel: 020 8314 7171             Email: recycle@lewisham.gov.uk


Over the holiday period the council's refuse and recycling services will be operating a slightly revised collection schedule during the week between Christmas and the New Year. Normal collections will resume on Monday 7 January.

Existing collection day - Revised collection day - Change in service

Monday 24 December - Saturday 22 December - 2 days early

Tuesday 25 December - Monday 24 December - 1 day early

Wednesday 26 December - Thursday 27 December - 1 day late

Thursday 27 December - Friday 28 December - 1 day late

Friday 28 December - Saturday 29 December - 1 day late

Monday 31 December - Monday 31 December - No change

Tuesday 1 January - Wednesday 2 January - 1 day late

Wednesday 2 January - Thursday 3 January - 1 day late

Thursday 3 January - Friday 4 January - 1 day late

Friday 4 January - Saturday 5 January - 1 day late

Reuse and recycling centres

The council's reuse and recycling centres will be open for business as usual except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

You can find out more about this service on the recycling sites information page.

Christmas tree recycling

If you opt for a real Christmas tree this year, do not forget to take it to one of the council's designated recycling collection points between 2 January to 13 January 2013.

At other times, Christmas trees can be taken to any of the reuse and recycling centres - but please remember to remove all tinsel and decorations before taking it to be recycled.

Ashburton Park - Access from Tenterden Road

Broad Green - Homebase, Purley Way

Coulsdon - Lion Green Road car park

Coulsdon East - Grange Park, Canon's Hill

Fairfield - Oaks Road/Commbe Road car park

Heathfield - Addington Park car park, Gravel Hill

Kenley - Kenley Residents' Association, Oaks Road green

New Addington - Central Parade car park

Norbury - Granville Gardens car park

Purley - Upper Woodcote Village Residents' Association, Woodcote Village green

Selsdon - Selsdon Recreation Ground (access from Woodlands Gardens)

Shirley - Monks Orchard Green

Shirley - Shirley Park Residents' Association, Green Court Gardens green

South Norwood - Sainsbury's, Whitehorse Lane

Upper Norwood - Secret Garden, Westow Street

Waddon - Wyevale Garden Centre, Waddon Way

Waddon - Ikea car park

Recycling and rubbish collections

There are changes to the collection days; your recycling and waste may be collected a day later than usual.

Collections return to normal on Monday 7 January 2013.


Contact centre, cashier's office and service centre

Opening hours for our public offices and phone lines:

Monday 24 December - closed
Tuesday 25 December - closed
Wednesday 26 December - closed
Thursday 27 December - open 9am-5pm
Friday 28 December - open 9am-5pm
Saturday 29 December - Closed
Sunday 30 December - Closed
Monday 31 December - Closed
Tuesday 1 January - Closed

Normal hours resume from 2 January 2012: 9am to 5pm for the service centre and cashier's office and 8am to 8pm for the phone line.

In emergencies, call 020 8356 3000.

Usual collection day Planned recycling
collection day
Planned rubbish
collection day
Monday 24 December (Christmas Eve) Collection as normal Sunday 23
Tuesday 25 December (Christmas Day) Wednesday 26 Monday 24
Wednesday 26 December (Boxing Day) Thursday 27 Thursday 27
Thursday 27 December Friday 28 Friday 28
Friday 28 December Saturday 29 Saturday 29
Monday 31 December (New Year's Eve) As normal As normal
Tuesday 1 January (New Year's Day) Wednesday 2 Wednesday 2
Wednesday 2 January Thursday 3 Thursday 3
Thursday 3 January Friday 4 Friday 4
Friday 4 January Saturday 5 Saturday 5

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