Christmas present wrapping paper on floor next to Christmas tree
CHRISTMAS WASTE:  Council is encouraging residents to be mindful about waste this holiday season, with lots of great tips and resources to save on money and reduce environmental impacts.


Keep a lid on your waste this festive season

Published: 21 Dec 2023 2:27pm

As Christmas time rolls around, the likelihood of our bins filling up increases, with more celebrations meaning more waste going into our bins.

Changing the way you manage your waste around Christmas doesn’t have to take away from the joy of the holidays; in fact, small changes make a huge difference.

Wagga Wagga City Council Supervisor Solid Waste Tammie Cook says this festive season we are focusing on how to enjoy the holidays while also being kind to the environment and saving money at the same time.

Christmas present wrapping paper on floor

“There are plenty of great tricks on how to be on top of your waste this Christmas and New Year,” Ms Cook said.

“When wrapping gifts, you can use reusable fabric wrapping, pillowcases, or kids’ drawings, which helps limit the amount of plastic going into landfill.

“You can also use ribbons or cloth to tie up the wrapped gifts to avoid sticky tape, or even give presents in glass bottles or containers to avoid wrapping altogether. This is especially useful for homemade gifts like jams, sauces or seasonings.”

Considering alternatives to gifts is another step to reducing waste. Purchase an ‘experience’ rather than a physical object for a loved one or encourage family and friends to buy second-hand to save items from landfill.

Waste doesn’t just come in plastic form either. Each festive season, Australians waste large amounts of leftover food from celebrations.

“It’s useful to stick to a list when shopping, as it is easy to get carried away when walking into a store and seeing all the delicious Christmas food on display,” Ms Cook said.

Seafood being scraped off plate into FOGO compostable green bag

“Try to avoid impulse buying or cooking too much food, and instead of throwing leftovers straight in the bin, freeze them for later or re-purpose them into a snack or meal on Boxing Day, maybe making some ‘bubble and squeak’ or pea and ham soup.

“You can’t avoid waste altogether, so for pesky garbage like seafood, place the scraps into a green compostable liner and store in the freezer until bin night to help minimise odours.”

Staying on top of what items to place in your kerbside bins helps ensure waste is separated correctly.

Christmas food and organic waste is to be discarded in the green lid bin, with wrapping paper, toy boxes, and cardboard food boxes to go in the yellow lid bin.

Compostable food waste bag being placed in green lid FOGO bin

Christmas lights and trees can be discarded in the red lid bin or taken to Gregadoo Waste Management Centre (GWMC), while cardboard and polystyrene can be dropped off at the centre for free.

“If your recycling bin gets too full, don’t put your recycling in the red bin, instead use this free and easy resource.”

Waste & Recycling

There are multiple household waste guides and resources available on the Council website, to help you to be confident about what you are putting into your bins.

There will be no changes to kerbside waste services during the holiday period.

Details on the operating times for GWMC and the Tip Shop over the Christmas – New Year period are on our website.