Christmas and New Year recycling and rubbish collection changes

PUBLISHED: 15 December 2023

Colchester’s recycling and rubbish collection days are changing slightly over the festive period and scheduled collections during Christmas week will be one day later than stated in recycling calendars.

There will be no kerbside or flats collections on Tuesday, 26 December. All scheduled kerbside and flats for Tuesday collections will be collected on Wednesday, 27 December, with remaining collections that week one day later than stated in recycling calendars (Thursday 28, Friday 29 and Saturday 30). 

Flats bin store rubbish collections scheduled for Monday, 25 December and Monday, 1 January will take place the weekend before. There will be no changes to normal collections in New Year’s week.

As in previous years, there will be no garden waste collections from Tuesday, 26 December 2023 until Friday, 12 January 2024, while we focus on collecting Christmas recycling and rubbish. 

The new opt-in garden waste collection service will start from Monday, 15 January. As it takes up to 10 working days to subscribe for the service, residents should join no later than 31 December 2023 to be eligible for the first garden waste collection of 2024. Residents can sign up at

The council is also encouraging people to be mindful of what they waste over the Christmas and New Year period. Nationally, we create 30 per cent more waste than usual over the Christmas period. However, most of what is used at Christmas can be recycled:
  • Wrapping paper, cards and envelopes can all be placed in clear recycling bags, unless covered in glitter or metallic foil. Ribbons, bows and other adornments must also be removed.
  • Glass bottles and cans can all be placed in green recycling boxes. Please separate these using two green boxes, one for cans and one for glass. If you need more capacity, please use an extra container such as a washing up bowl or similar non cardboard box.
  • Turkey bones and other food scraps can go into the food waste caddy. Many leftovers can be frozen or reused. 
  • Christmas trees can be recycled through St Helena Hospice's Tree-cycle scheme by signing up here, or sawn up and used for composting. 
  • Many plastic items such as bottles, pots and tubs can be recycled.

A full list of what items can and cannot be recycled in the city is available online at 

Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Waste, said: “To help everyone enjoy Christmas we’re once again keeping recycling as easy as possible with minimal changes to festive collections.

“This Christmas, we're asking everyone to give a little thought to the environment by paying attention to what they purchase and what they throw in the bin. Lots of recycling information and tips are available online and via social media for residents to have a green and great Christmas.”

Collection days for households will return to normal on Tuesday, 2 January, with the exception of garden waste collections, which will start as a chargeable service on Monday, 15 January.

To find your recycling and rubbish collection calendar, enter your postcode at

Page last reviewed: 15 December 2023


Subscribe to receive updates on Council news, events and offers, green living, leisure and sport, museums, committees, jobs and more.