Photo of gifts wrapped with more sustainable wrappings by Nathan Lemon for Unsplash

Waste Not, Want Not this Christmas

12 Dec 2019

Christmas does not mean that more household waste must be created. You can indulge and give generously, while still being mindful of the impact your celebrations have on our environment.

Council offers weekly general waste collection, along with alternating fortnightly green waste and recycling services, to help you manage your household waste. Council also offers residents free drop off recycling at Katoomba and Blaxland facilities throughout the year. You can join The Compost Hub for free to remove all your food scraps from your red garbage bin. Learn more at

Council is committed to protecting our environment by reducing waste to landfill. A handy A – Z Guide of waste & recycling can be found on our website

Here are a few tips to help you achieve a more sustainable, lower waste Christmas, this year:

Food waste
This is the season of excess and it shows in the food that gets wasted – Australians throw away 3.1 billion tonnes of edible food each year. Planning your festive menu, portions and sticking to a shopping list will save you money, time and spoilage. Make sure you’ve got recipes and plans for how to use the additional leftover food in the coming days. For information on food waste (as well as how to avoid it), storage and shopping tips and great ways to use up leftovers visit The best way to manage your food waste is to compost it at home, or place it into a worm farm. 

Low waste gift
Try some easy and interesting low waste gift options this year! Give memories with experience gifts like theatre tickets or memberships, give your time, upcycle, buy second hand, make gifts or buy ethically. Don’t forget to take your own re-usable bags when shopping for gifts as well as groceries.

Gift Wrapping
Paper-based gift wrapping can be recycled in your yellow recycling bin, even if it has sticky tape attached. Plastic or foil wrapping, paper with metallic detail, cellophane, bows and ribbons can’t be recycled and will become landfill. Save these items to re-use for gift wrapping or kids’ craft. Search online for stylish and sustainable ways to wrap gifts. 

This Christmas, celebrate with a real native tree. A potted Australian pine, like a Wollemi or a Cypress, can be used year after year and also makes an excellent Christmas present. Pine Christmas trees can be taken to Katoomba and Blaxland facilities and be recycled for a fee.

Plating up
The disposable plates and cutlery you may be thinking about using will sit in landfill for hundreds of years. Use ceramic plates and proper cutlery instead. If you don’t have enough, purchase from the op shop and re-donate back after Christmas.

Aluminium Foil containers
You can recycle foil trays - like the kind your Christmas mince pies come in or disposable roasting pans - if they are clean. Collect them together, along with your clean foil chocolate wrappers, and roll them into a ball before putting them in your yellow bin. 

The Katoomba Resource Recovery and Waste Management Facility accepts batteries for safe handling. 

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), often seen as the white packaging inside boxes holding items secure, cannot be recycled at the kerbside. Instead take it to Blaxland or Katoomba Resource Recovery and Waste Management Facility for free recycling, if clean and separated from other materials.

Unwanted Gifts         
Re-gift them, sell online or offer them to op shops or the reuse shed at Katoomba RRWMF. 

Get more information on our website

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

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