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Top tips for a waste-free Christmas

Published on 17 December 2018

Now that we are getting ready for our Christmas celebrations we know that it will come with some extra waste.

We have put together a list of some waste wise tips which you may like to use before and after this Christmas so you can give to your family back to our community and even earn cash for your recycling.

With the philosophy and practice of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle here are some great ways to change your waste footprint.


Woman tending to worm farm

City of Ryde offers discount worm farms and compost bins to residents

Think about buying presents with less packaging and consider giving waste conscious gifts like experiences such as our Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre gift cards. This will give you access to all our programs for 2019 that the whole family can use.  Or maybe you would like to consider one of our cost price worm farms or compost bins. This means that all left-over food waste can go towards fertilising your garden.

Why not pass on this year’s Christmas pine tree and decorate your front native tree or shrub instead! A cut-live Christmas pine tree has a short life span of about 4 weeks. If this is a tradition to be kept we also offer a FREE chipping and mulching service. You can book your spot online and read our tips on how to dispose of your tree in the green bin.


The use of Ecards instead of Christmas cards are a great way to tell your family and friends you love them and the environment. There are plenty of websites to choose from such as Canva, where you can design your own unique ecard.

When buying presents think of what the lifespan of the product will be, a great way to know this is to see what has already left the house before. This can also be a thought of when planning for the family Christmas lunch and ask yourself “how much food is too much?”


gift wrapped in fabric

Furoshiki is the Japanese art of gift wrapping using fabric

Let’s get creative! Old magazines and colourful paper are a great medium to create your own sentimental card. You can also revive last year’s Christmas paper by ironing them out or use material to wrap up your presents. Scarves, tablecloths and tea towels with a nice pattern can give your present another dimension and a personal touch. We hold free Japanese fabric (‘Furoshiki’) wrapping classes throughout from time-to-time, or you can watch free online tutorial.

It’s cheeky but tried and true, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, such as the bread maker that resurfaces every year to a different family member. This becomes the annual joke and a way for family to reconnect.



Council problem waste recycling station

Let’s Recycle Right! About 75 per cent of waste at households is recyclable.

Donating clothes is such a great way to give back to community and non-for-profit charities! Use our interactive map to find the best location for you and/or look out for our green bins with the Smarter Greener Cleaner logo. 

Want to clear out the cupboards for the new year? Why not hold a garage sale - we offer free advertising on our Council’s website, which will also be tweeted out in social media.

The community recycling centre is located at 8 Waltham Road Artarmon and is open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 8.00am-2.00pm and Saturday and Sunday: 8am - 4pm and closed public holidays. This service allows you to recycle all those household goods that shouldn’t go into landfill. For smaller items, just drop them in one of our Problem Waste Drop-Off Stations – we have several around the City.

So please make sure you recycle right during Christmas and make sure you keep recyclables loose and out of plastic bags. For more information on how to recycle right visit our Recycling Collection page.

Blown your budget? Here is a way you can ‘return and earn’ your recycling?  Just go to the website and type in your post code to find the nearest return and serve location, take all your eligible bottles (not crushed or broken) to the station and you will receive 10 cents for each bottle/container. There are several stations around Ryde and all throughout Sydney.

You can also opt to donate the funds to a non-for-profit organisation such as Red Cross or Achieve Australia and not just help the environment but those in need within our local community especially over the Christmas period.

Also remember that the shiny metallic and glitter foil wrapping paper is not recyclable and will need to go in your general waste unless you keep it for next year’s Christmas. 

Here’s to having a sustainable and fun Christmas.


Last updated on 17 December 2018