What happens to our recycling?

Topic Selected: Waste and Recycling

General Article icon Type: General Article

Ever wondered what happens after your recycling bins are collected or you drop something off at the recycling centre? We explain how your recycling becomes a valuable resource.

Recyclable items are pre-dominantly collected from your home in two ways. There are kerbside ‘sort’ schemes where recyclables are sorted into their respective materials on the lorry at the kerbside; and co-mingled collections where all your recyclables are put into one compartment on the lorry before being taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and sorted.

At the MRF, all the mixed recycling is sorted and separated into different types of materials by hand or machine (or both) before being sent to manufacturers who make it into new products.

Once collected and sorted, recycled materials become valuable commodities in the worldwide market.

What is recycled in the UK?

There are many recycling plants in the UK, reprocessing million of tonnes of material ev

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