Bins, rubbish and recycling Bins and recycling at Christmas

Recycling after Christmas

Real trees

You can recycle your real Christmas tree in January: make sure to remove all lights, decorations and also the wooden base or stand (the wooden bases are too solid to process in our machines). All you have to do is:

If you are unable to do any of this, or your tree has not yet been collected, please complete a form. 

Artificial trees can not be recycled.

Cardboard (including boxes)

Cardboard and paper should be put in your blue recycling bin. Make sure to flatten boxes and large bits of cardboard to fit as much in your bins as possible.

Remove all plastic packaging, bubble wrap and polystyrene first, and put those items in your grey general waste bin.

Wrapping paper and greeting cards

You can recycle most greetings cards and wrapping paper in your blue paper and card bin. You can also recycle them at your local Recycling Centre.


  • You can only recycle greetings cards and wrapping paper if they’re entirely made out of paper. To find out if the wrapping is made of paper, try to scrunch it into a ball. If it stays scrunched, it can be recycled
  • Some wrapping paper is made out of foil, has a plastic coating, or includes non-paper decorations like glitter, gold or silver coloured shapes, and other plastics. None of these can be recycled. You can tear off any glittery parts or non-paper decorations and put them in your grey general waste bin
  • Make sure you also remove any bows or ribbons before recycling your wrapping paper.


Your Christmas food leftovers, including meat bones, can be put in your green bin, container or box. Please make sure all packaging is removed.Don't forget that the foil trays from pies can be recycled with any other foil in your brown recycling bin. Read more advice on food waste. 

Electrical items can't be recycled

  • Christmas tree lights, cables and other electrical items should be taken to your local recycling centre
  • Batteries should not be put in any of your bins. They should be taken to recycling centres, most supermarkets or recycling shops.

Tips (recycling centres)

Any items that you can't fit in your bins can be taken to a tip (recycling centre).

Get more information on tips, including locations.

Recycling and zero carbon

By recycling as much as possible, we can help Manchester to become a zero carbon city by 2038. Read more about Zero Carbon Manchester.

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