Where your recycling goes

We could spend another £90k on services if everyone recycled properly

Brown bin

  1. Your garden waste is taken to a local facility for composting.
  2. It is piled in large rows called 'windrows' to allow naturally occurring bacteria to break down the garden waste.
  3. The windrows are turned regularly. This ensures that the heat produced by the bacteria is spread evenly through the pile, killing any weed seeds that might be present.
  4. The end material is then sieved to produce soil improver, which is bagged for sale.
  5. Commercial users of this compost are local sport and leisure services.

More information about this process.

Glass recycling box

  1. Your glass bottles and jars are taken to a local facility for processing.
  2. Bottles and jars are used to make a sand filtration product.

More information about this process.

Blue bin

  1. The contents of your blue bin are sent to a Materials Recycling Facility. 
  2. The items are placed on a conveyor belt where different materials are separated in different ways.
  3. First paper and card is separated by a machine with a fast rotating drum, then huge magnets pull out your tin cans.
  4. Aluminium cans, foil and aerosol cans are separated by a machine called an Eddy Current Separator.
  5. Plastics and cardboard move on down the line to an Optical Scanning System which recognises the plastics and blows them away for baling with a blast of air.
  6. The heavier cardboard moves on down to the end of the line where it falls into its own bins for baling.
  7. The separated materials are then sold on end processors. The destination of specific materials can vary depending on the market conditions at any given time.
  8. Only very small items and materials not suitable for recycling are left. These are sent for Energy-from-Waste.

More about this process.

Food waste

  1. Your food waste is taken to a local Anaerobic Digester.
  2. Naturally occurring bacteria break down the waste generating heat which is converted into energy.
  3. The residue is used as an agricultural fertiliser.

More information about this process.

Non-recyclable waste

  1. The contents of your grey bins are delivered to a local Energy-from-Waste facility.
  2. Waste is burnt with the heat used to drive a steam turbine to generate electricity.
  3. Scrap metal is removed by magnets for recycling.
  4. A future plan is to use the residual heat in local housing.

More information about this process.

Related Downloads