Sea of empty bottles and overflowing bins after festive celebrations

Bottles in front of a bottle bank at a recycling centre at a supermarket near Bracknell, Berkshire, after the Christmas and New Year period Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Local authorities face a backlog of overflowing bins and empty bottles as the evidence of Britain’s Christmas and new year celebrations waits to be disposed of.

Photographs of overflowing bottle banks at a Berkshire recycling centre show the mammoth task awaiting councils as consumers get rid of their empties in the new year.

Row upon row of spirits, beer and wine bottles, diligently sorted by colour, were laid on the ground at the recycling centre at a supermarket near Bracknell, while piles of bin bags were waiting collection in Leeds.

Twitter users elsewhere across the UK have been messaging their local councils about overflowing bins due to altered collection timetables over the festive period.

More empties in Liverpool Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Some reported that their rubbish had not been collected since before Christmas Day.

Greenwich council said it was working hard to collect “extremely large volumes of waste & recycling” and that it hoped to have services back to normal by January 7.

With the beginning of January synonymous with abandoned Christmas trees on street corners, councils are also advising people to recycle or replant them instead.

Councillor Martin Tett, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “Christmas is obviously a time of year when households produce more waste than usual, and councils are doing all they can to collect these significant amounts of waste and recycling.

“Most residents would have only seen minor disruptions to their bin collection services over the festive period, to account for the bank holidays, and these services will now be returning to their normal schedule.

“Councils offer real Christmas tree recycling in a variety of ways: some will collect Christmas trees with normal garden waste, some will have designated collections and others will have special drop-off points, while many shops and garden centres will recycle trees if they are returned to them. Local council websites will have information and advice for residents.”