Post by Andy Walker Post by Joe
But do you know how much of your recycling is genuinely recycled, and
not just shipped abroad?
Almost all of it is recycled, according to the council website [...].
The only substance which goes out of the country is said to be glass; which
ends up at a recycled glass facility in Portugal that converts the old glass
into new bottles.
You perhaps missed the news item last week, which showed huge
rubbish dumps in Turkey being scavenged for plastic and other gunge
shipped in from the UK and elsewhere in Europe allegedly for recycling
but in reality just dumped. It didn't seem to be anyone's fault, or
fraud, just Turkey being overwhelmed by the quantity. IIRC, Turkey
is Europe's favourite place for exporting recyclables to.
I am well aware of UK rubbish being dumped overseas, thanks; but according to
the website for this area:-
Household plastic packaging such as bottles, pots, tubs and trays are taken
to Biffa’s plastic processing plant in Aldridge. From there they are taken
to Redcar where the different types of plastic are sorted, graded and
Hard plastics taken to our recycling centres are sent on Wessex Plastics in
Bridgwater and made into new plastic items.
Household steel and aluminium packaging is sorted using magnets.
Aluminium waste is sent to Novellis in Warrington where it is recycled into
new aluminium cans. Used aluminum cans, can be recycled, reprocessed, remade
and ready for resale in approximately 60 days. In a year, a can could be
recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.
Steel tins and aerosol cans are sent to a facility in South Wales where they
are recycled into new steel products. Recycled steel can be found in a huge
variety of products, including bicycle frames, pipes, train tracks, ship
hulls, cars, bridges and paperclips as well as new household tins and cans.
Paper waste, such as newspaper, magazines, envelopes and junk mail is taken
to a paper mill in King’s Lynn. It is turned into new paper for use by the
Textile waste, such as clothes and shoes, is taken to Wilcox textiles
recycler in the Wolverhampton. The textiles are sorted and lower quality
textiles are recycled into cleaning cloths and sound proofing felt for the
automotive industry in the UK. Higher quality clothes are sent abroad to
Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe for reuse.
Cardboard and cartons are taken to either DS Smith in Kent or Edwards Waste
Paper in Essex and recycled into new cardboard packaging in 14 days.
Recycling cardboard reduces the need to cut down trees. It also cuts most of
the chemicals used in the treatment process and saves energy as it takes far
less effort to recycle than it does to make cardboard from scratch.
Mixed glass bottles and jars are exported from Cardiff to Portugal where
crushed glass can be recycled into new glass products.
Household batteries (AA, AAA, B, C, D) should be placed in a clear plastic
bag in the recycling box to keep them together. They are sent to G & P
Batteries in the West Midlands to be sorted by battery type. The sorted
batteries are sent to be recycled to recover the metal and be made into new
Food waste, collected from your food caddy, is taken to our anaerobic
digester in Weston-super-Mare. It is broken down by microorganisms to produce
biogas, which is used to generate electricity and heat homes in North
A nutrient rich fertiliser is also produced from the recycled food waste. It
is used on agricultural land as well as woodland, grassland and landfill
Electrical items are collected by Sims Recycling Solutions. Some items are
disassembled and some are shredded. The different material is separated and
recycled. Chemicals, such as lead, are safely disposed of.
Garden waste is taken to Enovert in Gloucester for composting. The waste is
shredded, laid out in rows and turned regularly to oxygenate. After about 10
weeks it can be used as a soil improver on farmers’ fields.
We can send some of the noncompostable waste to New Earth Solutions which is
a mechanical biological treatment plant. They separate the materials and turn
it into a compost-like material which is used in land restoration. They also
create a refuse derived fuel which is used to generate renewable energy. This
process is known as energy recovery.
Refuse which is not recyclable is sent to landfills in Cheltenham and
Next year we will be moving towards a zero landfill contract. This means
we’ll aim to divert all waste from landfill to energy recovery. Rubbish
will be sent to the Energy from Waste plant in Avonmouth or to a plant which
is due to open in Bristol. The rubbish will either be recycled or used as a
refuse derived fuel.