How to recycle your Christmas trees and cards
By Bodger21 | Friday, January 04, 2013, 03:01
There is always a little confusion over when Twelfth Night - the official end of Christmas - actually falls.
It's time to start thinking about packing away the tinsel and baubles for another year.
The Church of England insists that tomorrow (January 5) is Twelfth Night. This is the eve before Epiphany - the day when, according to the nativitiy story, the three wise men finally arrived and presented their gifts to the baby Jesus.
However, many people believe Twelfth Night falls on Sunday (January 6), at the end of the 12th day after Christmas, and so keep their decorations hanging in their homes for an extra day.
Whichever date is most widely regarded as being Twelfth Night, the superstitious among us who still have decorations hanging in our homes by the time Sunday draws to a close risk misfortune and bad luck.
Whichever school of thought one might subscribe to - be it Saturday or Sunday - this weekend will see Christmas decorations throughout the county being put back in their boxes and safely stored for next year's festivities and cards and trees being taken down.
But what should we do with all those Christmas cards and drooping trees now that the Christmas holidays are over?
. If your tree is potted, why not plant it in your garden? You will be able to use it year after year.
. If it's not potted, Gloucester City Council will pick it up with your usual green bin garden waste collection. It is recommended you do the following:
Remove all decorations, stands and lights, as these can't be composted.
Cut your tree into smaller pieces so that it can fit into your green bin. Alternatively, you can place your tree next to your garden waste bin for collection, but please ensure your bin lid remains fully closed.
Trees can also be taken to any of the Household Recycling Centres in Gloucestershire.
All those lovely cards that your friends and family sent this Christmas don't have to be thrown away - there are lots of ecofriendly alternatives.
. Look out for Christmas card recycling schemes, such as the Woodland Trust, and find collection bins at many high-street retailers.
. Christmas cards can be recycled by using the cardboard recycling bank at your local community recycling site or household recycling centre. For more information visit the Recycle for Gloucestershire website.
. Many supermarkets have Christmas card recycling banks available at this time of year, with proceeds going to various causes.
. Put your cards out with your local recycling collection.
. Reuse your cards as gift tags for presents or decorative paper chains.