Christmas recycling

Bin collections

There will be changes to bin collections due to the Christmas and New Year bank holidays. Find out more.

If we have snow at Christmas, or other extreme weather conditions, this could affect your bin collections. Keep up to date with the latest information by subscribing to our waste text alert service.

Which bin to use?

You can recycle these festive items in your blue-lidded bin:

  • Wrapping paper and greetings cards (without glitter or 3D decorations)
  • Cardboard packaging
  • Sweet and biscuit tins
  • Plastic biscuit trays
  • Glass condiment jars (rinsed out)
  • Aerosol sprays (empty)
  • Steel food cans
  • Aluminium drink cans
  • Aluminium foil sweet wrappers, mince pie cases and oven trays (recycle aluminium foil in a tennis-ball sized lump where possible)
  • Juice cartons (such as Tetra Pak)
  • Glass wine and beer bottles

Read more about what can go in your blue-lidded bin.

Use the scrunch test to find out which bin your wrapping paper should go into.

You cannot recycle these items. These should be reused or go into your grey bin, unless specified:

  • Wrapping paper and greetings cards with glitter or 3D decorations on them.
  • Plastic sweet wrappers (these can now be recycled at many supermarkets with soft plastics)
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Paper plates (if they have no food residue on them they can go in the blue-lidded bin)
  • Soft plastic - such as carrier bags or cling film (these can now be recycled at many supermarkets)
  • Polystyrene - such as packaging or food trays
  • Decorative items - gift bows, ribbon, baubles, tinsel or artificial Christmas trees
  • Broken electricals - such as fairy lights. These should be taken to an electrical recycling bank or Recycling Centre
  • Batteries - these should to be taken to a local battery collection point.

Read more about what can go in your grey bin.

Recycle all food waste in your caddies:

  • For example, vegetable peelings, solidified fat, cooked or raw food, tea bags, plate scrapings, bread, meat, bones and skins and egg shells.
  • Make sure food is removed from its packaging before you put it in your caddy.
  • Top tip: You can line your kitchen caddy with any soft plastic bag, compostable liner or newspaper.

Read more about your food waste caddies.

Excess waste

Households create around 30 per cent more waste over the Christmas period. Please squash down your recycling and waste to make the most of the space in your bins.

  • We will accept excess recycling. Leave this by the side of your blue-lidded bin on your collection day in a sturdy container (such as a cardboard box), not in a bag - except for the double collections on 10 and 11 January when clear bags will be accepted.
  • We will accept excess food waste. Leave this by your kerbside caddy on the morning of your collection in a tightly sealed bag.
  • We will never accept any excess household waste.

Extra waste can also be taken to your local neighbourhood recycling site or to the Recycling Centre on Eastman Way (Hemel Hempstead) or Northbridge Road (Berkhamsted). Recycling Centre opening times and acceptable materials can be found on Hertfordshire County Council's website, along with a live webcam of the entrance so you can see how busy it is and avoid the queues.

Never leave excess waste on the floor around a bin area or recycling bank, closed Recycling Centre or charity shop - this is illegal fly-tipping and you could be prosecuted.

Christmas tree recycling

Our annual real Christmas tree recycling day will take place on Sunday 9 January 2022.

COVID-19 safety measures

All three locations are outside and social distancing will be maintained. When dropping off your tree, please remain in your vehicle and the crews will remove the tree from your vehicle. Bags will be provided for tree chippings.

Locations and times

  • Cupid Green Depot, Redbourn Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7BA - 8am to 3pm
  • Canal Fields, Broadwater, Berkhamsted, HP4 2AL - 8am to 3pm
  • Tring Garden Centre, Bulbourne Road, Tring, HP23 5HF - 10.30am to 4.30pm

Please note that the Canal Fields car park will be closed during the event except for dropping off trees. Please look for alternative parking if you are visiting the town.

Tree collections

Hemel Hempstead District Scouts have joined together again this year and can collect your old Christmas trees for recycling on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 January 2022. They can collect from all parts of Hemel Hempstead as well as Kings Langley, Bovingdon, Felden, Flaunden and Chipperfield.

Bennetts End Scouts are hosting the booking and payment service. Book your collection now.

By booking your collection through the Scouts, you are supporting Scouting in your local community, giving young people skills for life.

If you have any queries about tree collections, please email


You can also take your tree to a Recycling Centre. Trees left at any other recycling sites will be treated as fly-tipping and you could be prosecuted.

Alternatively, you can cut your tree up and put it in your green bin ready for when garden waste collections begin again in spring. 

How to have a green Christmas

For information on how to have an eco-friendly Christmas, please see our green Christmas guide.

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