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Christmas bin collection 2021 in Scotland as councils issue final festive dates

Daily Record logo Daily Record 20/12/2021 Ketsuda Phoutinane

Things can get busy in the run up to Christmas, so the bin collection dates can be easily overlooked.

It's best to check when the bin men are expected to come before the bins are crammed full with boxes and torn up wrapping paper in the aftermath of Christmas.

In fact, people in Scotland use upwards of 19,000 miles of wrapping paper at Christmas with nearly 50,000 tonnes of food and drink expected to be binned during December, according to Zero Waste Scotland.

The festive period means your regular bin collection schedule will be disrupted, so it's good to get an idea before the big day.

In Glasgow and Edinburgh, there will be no bin collections on Saturday, December 25 and Saturday, January 1.

Councils are also warning that waste and recycling collections are subject to change if there is severe weather.

Here is everything you need to know...

When will my bins be collected?

There is a mess of wrapping paper and boxes throughout the living room. Authentic picture from private party. © Getty Images/500px Plus There is a mess of wrapping paper and boxes throughout the living room. Authentic picture from private party.

The day your bins are collected are up to your local council - so you'll need to check its official website.

Local authorities may leave a tag on your bin or a leaflet through the door and will most likely alert residents on social media.

Christmas day falls on a Saturday this year - and it is very unlikely your bin will be collected.

Most councils won't collect on weekends, public holidays or Bank Holidays so you may have to wait a couple of extra days.

Some local authorities in Scotland are doing a revised collection a day earlier or on Monday, December 27.

For anyone with bulk excess waste, some recycling centres will be closed on Christmas day and News Year's Day.

What can I throw away and recycle?

Chirstmas tree in wheelie bin © Getty Images/Image Source Chirstmas tree in wheelie bin

Most of us recycle over Christmas - but are we getting it right?

Councils may have strict policies on what items can be recycled and thrown away - including Christmas trees.

Video: Nicola Sturgeon urges Scots to limit socialising to protect Christmas (Daily Record)

Recycle Now have a handy tool allowing you to enter your postcode and find out what you are able to recycle via your household collection.

Here is a useful list of what can and cannot be recycled:

Christmas trees

Some local authorities have special collections or organise drop-off points for real Christmas trees.

They can also be taken to some household waste recycling centres - but you should check with your council.

Wrapping paper

Due to the make-up of wrapping paper and the amount of sticky tape, some local authorities do not accept wrapping paper for recycling due to problems at recycling plants.

Christmas cards

Most cards are paper based and can be recycled along with their envelopes.

The can be done at home, household waste recycling centres or at banks in supermarket car parks.


Glass baubles are not recyclable. Broken glass should be disposed of by wrapping and putting in with general waste.

Plastic baubles are usually made from material and glitter which can't be recycled so should also go in the general waste.


Tinsel cannot be recycled. If your tinsel has finally lost its sparkle and needs to be thrown away, dispose of it in your rubbish bin.


Natural materials on wreaths, such as ivy, fir cones, mistletoe and holly, can be composted as long as they are not covered with excessive glitter.

Simply remove the greenery from the base and add to your garden waste collection, or drop at your local household waste recycling centre.

Artificial decorations such as ribbons and plastic flowers will need to be removed as these cannot be recycled.

Christmas tree lights

Fairy lights can be recycled at household waste recycling centres.

Some local authorities collect small electricals as part of their recycling collections and may also provide collection bins at other sites too for example at supermarkets.


If you've ordered goods online this Christmas, it's likely your items were delivered in boxes or envelopes made from corrugated cardboard which is widely recycled by local authorities.

Remember to remove any plastic or polystyrene inserts and excess sticky tape from cardboard boxes before recycling.


All those new toys and gadgets mean more batteries to recycle. Some local authorities collect batteries bagged separately with household recycling but there are also recycling points in shops around town.

Shops selling more than 32kg of batteries a year are required to provide battery recycling collection facilities in-store.


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