Curb Winter Wastage

Curb Winter Wastage 

The festive period is renowned as a time for giving and enjoying the company of loved ones. Although the period is inevitably one of the most generous times of the year, it can also be one of the most wasteful. 

According to recent statistics, 30% more rubbish is produced by families over the Christmas period than usual and, on average, £2.4 billion is wasted on uneaten food and unwanted gifts per year. The epidemic of seasonal waste is something which we should all fight against, especially when provisions are available in the area which help to curb the brunt of Christmas wastage. 

Unwanted Clothing and Gifts

Unwanted clothing and gifts seem to be a traditional staple in festive tradition (who doesn’t love a pair of novelty socks?) and tot up an extremely high percentage of waste over the period. In 2014, 37% of adults said they received gifts worth an average of £54 that they did not want or use. 

There are provisions within the local area to help combat gift wastage such as charity ‘reuse’ shops. Emmaus Merseyside has teamed up with MRWA and Veolia to create ‘The Community Reuse Shop’. Instead of being landfilled or recycled, you can drop off your unwanted gifts (toys, bric-a-brac, electrical items and much more) at the Reuse shop – the donations are then put up for sale at a low price. Local charities operate the shop and their projects benefit from any profit. 


Unwanted Food 


The festive period is undeniably the most gluttonous time of the year. On average, each household will spend £28 on food and drink which will be thrown away. 


There are numerous food banks in the area which and are extremely grateful for donations over the festive period. 


Hope + Food Bank provides a holistic approach for those living in food poverty in the shadow of Liverpool’s two cathedrals. Donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries, and clothes can be made in the collection boxes in Liverpool Cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Quaker Meeting House, and Liverpool Parish Church.


You can find out the details of other food banks in your local area by visiting

The free app ‘Olio’ also allows individuals to connect with other members of the community and share their surplus food with one another. Items can include food nearing its sell-by date, vegetables, bread or the groceries in your fridge. Olio can also be used for non-food household items too.


Make sure to visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for portion planning tips over the Christmas period, recipes to use up any Christmas leftovers and storage advice. 


Always remember to recycle your paper, cards, cans, bottles, cardboard, and real Christmas trees during and after the festive period. Christmas is undoubtedly chaotic- it is all too easy to dump waste which we would usually recycle into black bin liners. 

  • All paper (including wrapping paper) is recyclable. The only types of wrapping paper which are not recyclable are shiny, metallic and glitter varieties. Use the scrunch test as a general rule – scrunch the paper in your hand – if it remains ‘scrunched’ it can be recycled; if it springs back it is probably metallised plastic film and not recyclable.
  • Christmas cards and without foil, glitter or a shiny coating can be recycled. 
  • Real Christmas trees can be recycled at most local recycling centres.