A huge amount of household waste can easily be recycled - and it's even more important to do it over the festive period when we've got more rubbish than usual.
The good news for the environment is that a lot of the extra rubbish, including drinks bottles and cans, flattened cardboard boxes, glass jars, plastic bottles, paper and aerosols, can go in your blue recycling bin.
You can also add wrapping paper tubes, empty sweet tins and tubs, and Christmas cards (without glitter or foil) - all of them go straight in the main part of your blue bin.
Items not on the list for recycling: Batteries, polystyrene packaging, food waste and wrapping paper. Putting these items in your recycling bin will contaminate the whole load.
Don't put in anything in plastic bags, as the bags can't be recycled and the items inside go to waste. Just put any recyclables straight in the blue bin.
Newspapers and magazines: Can be put into the black caddy in your blue bin for recycling, as can envelopes and junk mail.
Wrapping paper: Currently cannot be recycled.
Christmas trees: Can be recycled at Household Waste Reception and Recycling Centres during normal opening hours.
If you can't get your tree to a recycling centre, booking a bulky waste collection is an option.
There is a £17.50 charge, but it covers up to eight items, and residents in the same street could club together to have eight trees collected from one location for one charge.
Household waste and recycling centres
Sunderland residents can use the household waste and recycling centres at Beach Street, Deptford, or Campground at Springwell Village.
Both are closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, but open every other day.
Coun Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland Council, said: "Our residents are fantastic at recycling, but there’s always more that can be done.
"We’re approaching the festive season, when most families generate more rubbish, but if you put it in the right bin, everything should fit in.
"We’re seeing a lot of contamination issues with incorrect materials in blue bins, which reduces the efficiency of the whole service.
"We’re urging residents NOT to put any food waste, plastic bags, batteries, wrapping paper or polystyrene into their blue bins. If you’re not sure about what can and can’t go in, check the website - or leave it out."