Recycling at Christmas

Christmas tree recycling

Christmas trees will be collected on your blue/brown bin collection day. You can leave your real and naked - lights, decorations and pots removed - Christmas tree next to your blue bin/sacks or brown bin (if you have a subscription) between 7 January and 31 January 2020 for recycling. Christmas trees with lights, decorations and pots still attached will not be collected, as these items cannot be composted. Scroll to the bottom of this page to watch our video about how Oxford's Christmas trees are recycled.

You can also drop trees off at one of the following collection points across the city (note these are open ealier than the kerbside collection service). If you live in a flat, please do not leave your tree in the bin store, take it to one of the collection points below.

Christmas tree collection points are open throughout January 2020. The collection points are:

  • Alexandra Tennis Courts, Middle Way, Summertown
  • Blackbird Leys Pool and Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road, Blackbird Leys
  • Bury Knowle Park, North Place car park
  • Cutteslowe Park, Harbord Road car park
  • Florence Park, Cowley
  • Hinksey Park, off Abingdon Road
  • Long Lane, Littlemore
  • Margaret Road Recreation Ground
  • Meadow Lane Recreation Ground, Jackdaw Lane
  • Oatlands Recreation Ground, Ferry Hinksey Road car park
  • South Park, Morrell Avenue
  • Sunnymead Recreation Ground, by play area

Christmas tree recycling points map

Christmas recycling and waste collection day changes

During Christmas week (beginning 23 December 2019) and the following week your usual collection day will change (see table below):

Christmas recycling and waste collection day changes
 Normal collection day  New collection day
 Wednesday 25 December 2019   Friday 27 December 2019
 Thursday 26 December 2019  Saturday 28 December 2019
 Friday 27 December 2019  Monday 30 December 2019
 Wednesday 1 January 2020 Thursday 2 January 2020
 Thursday 2 January 2020  Friday 3 January 2020
 Friday 3 January 2020  Saturday 4 January 2020

Normal collections resume week beginning 6 January 2020.

Garden waste (brown bin/sack) collections suspended over Christmas

Garden waste services will be suspended from Tuesday 24 December 2019 and will resume on Tuesday 7 January 2020.

Blue bin recycling at Christmas

Over Christmas we generate around 30% more waste and most of this can be recycled.

Most of your wrapping paper (non-glittery with tape, bows and decorations removed), Christmas cards, wine bottles, glass jars and lids, plastic bottles, tubs, pots and trays, foil, tins and cans and drinks cartons can be recycled in your blue bin and sacks.

If you can't fit extra recycling in your bin or sacks, please leave in a clear bag or cardboard box next to your blue bin or sacks on your collection day. Visit our what goes in each bin page for full details on household recycling.

Up to 80% of your waste can be recycled. Please try to recycle as much as possible as extra rubbish that doesn't fit in your green bin or lilac sacks will not be collected.

Service suspensions: bin deliveries, bulky waste and garden waste

The following services will be suspended from Tuesday 24 December 2019 and will resume on Tuesday 7 January 2020:

  • Bin deliveries/retrievals
  • Bulky waste collections
  • Garden waste collections

Food waste

UK households are still throwing away £12 billion worth of food each year and 30% of Oxford's household waste is food. One in three of us think we waste more food over Christmas and New Year than at any other time of the year. This food waste is having a detrimental impact on the environment, wasting materials, water and energy using in production, but there's simply no need.

Here's a few of our seasonal tips for reducing food waste:

  • Make delicious soup or stock with your leftover turkey carcass
  • Those leftover grapes from your cheese board can be frozen with water in an ice cube tray to create a fancy addition to your drinks
  • Freeze Stilton cheese and use in cooking or thaw for your cheese board
  • Blend cooked turkey in a food processor to make turkey mince. Freeze and use at a later date.
  • Whip any leftover cream and freeze
  • Refrigerate Christmas pudding for up to three months
  • Slice Christmas cake and freeze it with greaseproof paper between each piece so you don't have to defrost an entire cake
  • Freeze cooked turkey and ham and thaw in the fridge to use in casseroles, curries, pies and sandwiches

To learn more on how to make the most of your food, visit Love Food Hate Waste for storage guidance, top tips and recipes.

For food which you can't make the most of, recycle in your food caddy. Visit our food recycling page for full details.


From taking unwanted Christmas presents to charity shops or saving your wrapping paper for next year, there are many items to be reused over Christmas. Why not make your own Christmas cards and gifts? Orinoco, in Peat Moors, is full of inspiration and items for creating unique gifts. Or instead of buying something brand new, why not try and find a unique gift from a charity shop (download a map of Oxford's charity shops).

How Oxford's Christmas trees are composted - video