THE countdown to Christmas is well underway and residents across Stirling are being encouraged to remember and recycle during the festivities.

In the run up to Christmas and New Year, homes across the area will generate more material which can be recycled than at any other single point in the year, including packaging from gifts, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, bottles, cans, food waste and even the tree.

Since last year, the efforts of Stirling residents have reduced the waste going to landfill each month by 100 tonnes – which is the equivalent weight of 550 reindeers or a commercial aeroplane.

Residents are being encouraged to maintain this fantastic effort over the holidays by ensuring as much of their festive waste is recycled as possible.

Homes with real trees are being reminded that after Christmas they can take it to any of the council’s three Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) at Lower Polmaise, Callander and Balfron.

Paper and card packaging and Christmas cards can be added alongside normal paper, card recycling and all those festive TV guides.

Christmas leftovers – including the remains of the Christmas turkey, along with other titbits from the dinner table – can be deposited in the brown waste bin for recycling.

Residents are reminded that wrapping paper which is foil, glitter or felt, or has trimmings such as cellotape and ribbons attached can’t be recycled and should be placed in grey  bins.

Waste collections on Monday 25 December will be moved to Wednesday 27 December, while Tuesday 26 December collections will be moved to Thursday 28 December.

Monday 1 January collections will be moved to Wednesday 3 January, and Tuesday 2 January collections will be moved to Thursday 4 January.

The three Household Waste Recycling Centres in the Stirling area will be open during the festive period, except for December 25 and 26 and January 1 and 2.

Convenor of the Environment and Housing Committee, Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “We know there is a lot of extra waste generated over December, from Christmas Trees, to cardboard, paper and glass, as well as food.

"We want all of our residents to enjoy the festive season and would encourage everyone to help us ensure that these materials don’t go to waste and are instead recycled.”