Christmas recycling hacks for a more sustainable Brisbane

The festive season is upon us. It's a time for getting together, gifts and shared meals. It's also a time where we often throw more out - gift wrapping, leftover food and more. Limit your footprint this Christmas and send less waste to landfill by making sure your household recycling is right.

Recycle right this Christmas

Here are our top Christmas recycling tips.

Wrapping paper

There's nothing quite like the joy of ripping open a present on Christmas morning. Recycle right by placing your wrapping paper in your recycling bin.

Pro tip: Collect your wrapping paper in a washing basket or cardboard box, not a plastic bag (which can't be recycled) and empty it into your recycling bin.

Christmas cards

Paper Christmas cards are recyclable and should be placed in your recycling bin.

Pro tip: Repurpose your Christmas cards by turning them into gift tags. Recycle your offcuts in your recycling bin.

Other paper and cardboard items

Every year 27,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard is sent to landfill in Brisbane. Cardboard and paper items, including boxes and packaging, should go in your recycling bin. This includes paper and cardboard gift packaging, plates, crackers or bon bons and festive hats.

Pro tip: Instead of purchasing Christmas bon bons, make your own using toilet rolls, folded origami paper or other paper and cardboard items. Instead of inserting plastic toys, include consumable items like Christmas biscuits or other treats. Write your own jokes and slip them in with the bon bon gift.


Batteries are an important add on for many Christmas toys, however batteries (including those found in laptops, mobile phones and power tools, as well as regular household batteries) are made from resources that can be toxic to our environment.

DO NOT place batteries in your home rubbish or recycling bin. Batteries are hazardous and can produce sparks that cause fires in waste collection trucks or recycling facilities.

Pro tip: Battery disposal is easy. Start by safely storing used batteries in a box or container at home and then take them to your local resource recovery centre where they can be recycled for free. You can also take your batteries to a number of other battery drop-off points around Brisbane, including Aldi, Battery World and Officeworks.

Garden waste

Order a green waste recycing service to help get your garden looking its best for Christmas without sending valuable green resources to landfill. Brisbane City Council is waiving the $30 establishment fee when you order a new green waste bin.

Order a larger recycling bin

Not enough space in your recycling bin? Upgrade to a larger recycling bin for free!

Download the Brisbane Bin and Recycling app

Council's free Brisbane Bin and Recycling app can help make Christmas recycling easy. It has a simple search function to help you check you're putting the right thing in the right bin. You can also set reminders so you never miss bin day again. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play. 

You can also find out what you can recycle on our bin items page.

And remember...

Your bin days won't change through the holiday season, even if your bin day falls on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

Related links

Date posted:
Last updated: 1 December 2021
Topics: green