According to waste group Recycle for London (RFL), backed by the mayor and WRAP, over the festive period Londoners will generate an extra 29,000 tonnes of household waste – using enough wrapping paper to stretch around the equator, while about one million Christmas trees will light up London’s homes.

As a result, Mr Johnson is urging city dwellers to recycle rather than bin their festive rubbish to help local boroughs fork out for costly landfill charges as part of RFL’s ‘Nice Save’ campaign, which is funded by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWRB). It is estimated to cost councils 25% more to dispose of black bin rubbish than to recycle.

He said: “If we all recycle the discarded trappings of Christmas we can save our councils a whopping £2.7 million, which could instead be spent wisely elsewhere. This makes recycling an even more attractive option, so if you are pondering a worthy New Year’s resolution, make it to help us become a less wasteful city.”

Londoners throw out an estimated 2,000 tonnes of glass between Christmas and New Year, which if recycled Recycle for London says could save about 630 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to taking around 195 cars off the road for one year.

In addition, 675 tonnes of tin foil, which weighs the same as 450 Mini cars, and 75 tonnes of Christmas tree lights are discarded.

However, to reduce Christmas tree waste London boroughs are offering a tree recycling service. The Greater London Authority is planning to chip the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree for recycling on January 5 for use as fertilizer.

Carys Matthews

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