Residents are being informed about changes to household waste collections over the festive period and reminded to recycle as much as possible.
As usual, there will be no collections on Christmas Day, Wednesday 25 December and Boxing Day, Thursday 26 December.
Wheelie bin households due a collection on Christmas Day will have their collection day brought forward to Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24 December. Wheelie bin households due a collection on Boxing Day will have their collection on Saturday, 28 December.
Blue bag households, which receive a weekly service, due a collection on Christmas Day and Boxing Day will, as in previous years, not have a collection. However, extra blue bags will be collected the following week when service resumes as normal with collections taking place on the usual day, either Wednesday, 1 January or Thursday, 2 January.
Recycling collections for all households will resume as normal starting Monday, 30 December. Collection of green waste and plastics will resume as normal starting Monday, 6 January.
Real Christmas trees can be left out as part of residents’ green waste and will be picked up free of charge on the usual collection day between Monday 6 January and Friday 17 January. Residents are asked to ensure all decorations and lights are removed.
To help with the increased amount of waste, extra recyclables which don’t fit in the box will be collected, providing it is clean and orderly. Residents are asked to rinse jars, fold cardboard boxes and separate the different materials so collections are not slowed down.
A short film is now available to watch online at www.swindon.gov.uk/recycling offering information and advice on what to do with the extra piles of rubbish which accumulate over the festive period.
The amount of domestic waste generated in the UK increases by 3million tonnes over the festive period – the equivalent to 250,000 double decker buses.
Every tonne of waste costs councils £100 to send to landfill, which means if no one recycled at Christmas it would cost an extra £300million, not to mention the environmental damage.
Every item adds up, for example every year the UK throws out an estimated 4,500 tonnes of tin foil over the Christmas period, enough to cover around 1500 square miles – 60 times the size of Swindon. More than 13,000 tonnes of glass is also disposed of – recycling all of them could save 4,200 tonnes of CO2 being produced – the equivalent of taking 1,300 cars off the road for one year.
There are also lots of other things you can do to reduce waste, from creating a Christmas meal planner which takes into account leftovers to donating unwanted gifts or old, but working electrical items to charity or take them to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre, in Cheney Manor Industrial Estate. It is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Councillor Richard Hurley, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Housing and StreetSmart, said: “We are committed to keeping residents informed about household waste collections and any changes over the festive period, so information is going out to affected households this week.
"I hope residents also find the film informative and useful. The scale of our refuse and recycling services is huge and the images of the landfill site are a stark reminder of where a lot of our rubbish ends up, which could in fact be recycled or re-used in another way.
"Generally, however, Swindon residents are really supportive of the drive to reduce waste and recycle more – and take great care in leaving it in the right place and condition for collection.
"I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you for everyone’s efforts throughout the year, Christmas included. Your responsible, caring actions not only save the council money but also help to create a cleaner environment for everyone.”