Important guidance has been issued to Wiltshire residents on how to dispose of their recycling and Christmas trees during the festive period.

Wiltshire Council has announced a number of important tips for locals, including what people can do with their waste such as electrical items, wrapping paper, packaging and trees.

As part of this guidance, residents have been warned that unwanted electrical items cannot be disposed of in general waste or recycling bins.

Doing so has been linked to hundreds of fires at waste facilities across the UK every year.

In order to prevent such fires and keep staff safe, people should recycle electrical items that contain a rechargeable battery and fit inside a shoe box using the small rechargeable electricals collection service.

These items should be left beside blue-lidded bins or recycling sacks in a supermarket carrier bag.

Batteries can be removed from items and placed in a clear sealed bag next to their blue lidded-bin or recycling sack on collection day.

All other electrical items, including mains-powered items, should be recycled at household recycling centres.

Wrapping paper can be recycled in blue-lidded bins providing it is made of paper and only paper or card gift bags can be recycled.

Paper material will remain in a ball when scrunched.

Plastic or polystyrene bags incorrectly disposed of in blue-lidded bins can damage waste processing machinery.

Extra items that cannot fit in blue-lidded bins should be placed beside it in a suitable container.

Real Christmas trees will be collected from next to residents’ green bins on the first scheduled January collection, providing they have signed up to garden waste collections.

Cllr Nick Holder, cabinet member for environment, said: “I’m really pleased we’ve introduced the small rechargeable collection service this year.

“It will be especially useful over Christmas when many of us will likely have unwanted electrical items we want to dispose of.

“Alongside our battery collection service, it’s now quick and easy for residents to dispose of batteries and small electrical items directly from the kerbside, making it less likely that these items will find their way to waste facilities where they could cause fires.

“There’s no doubt a lot of packaging will also be generated during the festive period, and we would urge people to ensure carboard and paper is placed inside blue-lidded bins so that it’s not damaged by wet weather.

“I encourage people to take advantage of our convenient kerbside collection services and follow these tips so we can recycle as much as possible in Wiltshire this Christmas.”