Think green this Christmas

Merton Council is encouraging residents to think about the amount of waste they produce over the festive season and how they could reduce it, by producing this handy list of green tips:

· Remember to collect up empty glass bottles, cans, cardboard boxes and Christmas cards and take them to a local recycling bank.

· Wrapping paper (not metallic or plastic coated), and envelopes can be put into the green box to be recycled from the kerbside.

· Merton Council will be collecting residents’ old Christmas trees to be shredded up and reused as mulch in the borough’s parks. Residents and businesses just need to leave the trees out for collection visibly at the front of their property (not on the pavement) from 7am on Monday 6 January – they will be collected within a two-week period.

· Use china plates and cloth napkins for parties instead of paper plates and serviettes to reduce the amount of waste created. Many off licences have a glass hire service to saves buying disposable ones, which would increase the amount of waste generated.

· Try to choose gifts that are long lasting or easily repairable. Alternatively give vouchers for days out such as trips to the cinema or the theatre.

· Unwanted presents can be taken to charity shops to be resold.

· Send electronic cards or Christmas messages over the Internet and be a little different!

Councillor Linda Kirby, Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: “I hope all residents enjoy themselves over the festive period. However I encourage everyone to spend a little time implementing the tips above, such as minimising waste and recycling, to ensure everyone has an environmentally friendly Christmas and New Year.”

For further information on waste minimisation and/or recycling contact the Council’s helpline on 020 8545 4157 or visit the council’s website on http://www.merton.gov.uk.