Think twice before disposing of your Christmas wrapping this festive season

IT’S almost time to start wrapping gifts and placing them under the Christmas tree, but before folding the perfect paper crease, Wollongong City Council is urging the community to take a moment to consider the wrapping paper being used.

Not all wrapping paper is created equal, and some of it is a real issue for landfill. Wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated, or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter or plastics which cannot be recycled. Another challenge is some wrapping paper is very thin and contains few good quality fibres for recycling.

Cellophane is common Christmas wrap which is a form of soft plastic. This is non- recyclable and should not be placed in the yellow bin. The good news is however, that it can be recycled and given a new lease on life through REDcycle. REDcycle accepts a range of soft plastics with drop off locations commonly found at major Coles and Woolworths supermarkets across Wollongong.

Council’s acting director of infrastructure and works, Glenn Whittaker advises residents to take a moment before placing your paper in the bin post-Christmas.

If your home has excess recycling, Council’s Resource Recovery Centre is open year-round, except Christmas Day, to accept your household recyclable materials, all for free.

There will also be additional flattened cardboard drops offs available to the community that will take place on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at Ocean Park, Woonona from 8am to 1.30pm, and Thursday December 30, 2021 at the Snake Pit, Gwynneville from 8am to 12 noon.

Mr Whittaker said Christmas paper covered in bows, tinsel, tape or ribbons also contaminates recycling.

“Before placing your paper into the yellow lidded recycling, make sure it’s clean by removing all the decorations you may have added,” he said.

“Before adorning a gift with a shiny decoration, take a moment to consider if it’s recyclable. A beautiful addition to a gift may be a sprig from the garden, or a handmade cardboard tag, which has the potential to be recycled and is better for the environment.

“The urge to tear off wrapping paper and unveil a gift can often be strong. But if you prefer a more conservative reveal, wrapping paper can often also be reused for additional gifts later down the track,” Mr Whittaker said.

For more information download the Wollongong Waste Mobile App from Apple and Android online stores or head to Council’s waste page.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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