Holly leaves displayed as the recycle symbol

With the festive season just around the corner, North Devon Council is asking its residents to keep on recycling and be in the know with their waste collections.

Collection dates will be changing for Christmas and New Year weeks, so residents should check on the collection pages of the council website to make sure they know when their waste and recycling collections will take place so they don't miss out over the festive period. As well as this, there will be no green wheelie bin (garden waste) collections for two weeks between 21 December and 1 January.

Here are a few reminders of the do’s and don’ts of the council’s recycling service during the festive season:


  • flatten cardboard boxes, remove any tape and put it in your brown bags. If you have too much cardboard to fit in the brown bags you can contact the council to arrange a free bulky waste collection on 01271 374776 in the new year
  • remove non-recyclable plastic film inserts from cardboard packaging before flattening it and put in the brown bag
  • scrunch up tin foil, including mince pie foil cases and recycle them in your recycling box
  • wash and squash plastic bottles and drink cans to make more room in your recycling box
  • use brown paper as a recyclable alternative to wrapping paper; if all the sticky tape is removed it can go in the brown bag to be recycled
  • reuse leftover food in sandwiches or a curry,  all food waste should go in your kerbside caddy 
  • recycle plain cards in the brown bag
  • separate your glass from the rest of your recycling and place in your blue box
  • dispose of real Christmas trees with a trunk of 5cm or less in your green wheelie bin if you have a permit. Trees of all sizes will be accepted at your local Devon County Council recycling centre if your tree is to big or you don't have a permit


  • put non-recyclable items such as black plastic or items with mixed materials in your recycling.  Items like crisp tubes, made of cardboard and metal and tablet blister packs, made of plastic and foil should be put in your black wheelie bin
  • put wrapping paper in your green recycling bag, or shiny and glittery Christmas cards, as they are unsuitable for recycling
  • put brown paper in your green bag recycling bag (brown paper goes in your brown bag with cardboard)
  • put Tetrapacks which are made from mixed materials in the kerbside recycling. You can recycle them by taking them to your nearest Devon County Council recycling centre where there is a special collection bank
  • recycle greasy pizza boxes because the grease they absorb means they aren't suitable for recycling, put them in your black bin instead
  • put carrier bags, cling film or plastic film in the recycling box. However, some types of plastic film can recycled in carrier bag collection points at supermarkets and Devon County Council recycling centres
  • put spent batteries in your kerbside collection. Take them to a recycling point at a local supermarket or Devon County Council recycling centre instead

Lead member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Netti Pearson, says: "Over the festive period the amount of rubbish produced increases by approximately 30%. If we all pitch in and do our bit to reduce, reuse and recycle we can try to get this figure as low as possible, enjoy the festive period and help protect our beautiful environment as well. As well as this, don't forget to present your recycling for collection on the designated day for your property and use the right container, it makes collections quicker and easier for crews and makes more space for your recyclables at home."

The council offices are closed from 2pm on 24 December and re-open at 9am on Monday 4 January. During this time, information about all council services can be found on their website.

Full information about which items go on in the bin, box or bag can also be found on the bins and recycling pages of the council website.