What happens to your recycling
Plastic bottles collected from the recycling banks are baled and taken to Jayplas (J&A Young), a reprocessing facility based in Leicestershire. The company recycles plastic material from a wide variety of industries around the UK. Recycled plastic can be made into drainage pipes, compost bins, water butts, carrier bags and fibres for clothing such as fleeces and carpets.
Plastic bottles collected from the kerbside are taken to Suez, Avonmouth near Bristol for reprocessing.
Tins, cans and aerosols
Tins, cans and aerosols from the recycling banks are initially sent to Sims Metal Management in Cinderford. The cans are sorted into the two different types with the steel cans being taken to Sims Metal, Avonmouth. These cans are then shredded ready for export or delivered to a local foundry. The aluminium cans are baled and sent on to Novelis in Warrington for remelting.
Tins, cans and aerosols collected from the kerbside are taken to Suez, Avonmouth.
Glass jars and bottles
Glass is reprocessed by Maltha Glass Recycling, Portugal. Glass is 100% recyclable with no loss of quality and can be made into new glass products such as bottles, jars and glass wool or used in road aggregate.
There are a number of textile banks throughout the district which can be used to recycle clothing and paired shoes. The council's banks, provided and serviced by European Recycling Company (ERC), accept a wide range of other textiles including: accessories (such as belts and handbags), curtains, sheets and blankets, towels and soft toys. Please note that the banks cannot be used for duvets, pillows, cushions or carpet.
The collected materials are taken to ERC's warehouse in Germany where they are sorted into different grades. Most items are then sent abroad to developing countries where they are sold at markets to be re-worn. Items which are not suitable to be reused as clothing are broken down so that their fastenings, trimmings and fibres can be recycled.
Textiles collected from the kerb are recycled by Wilcox. The majority of items will be exported to Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe for re-wear. Low grade items, which are not suitable to be worn again, will be made into cloths, rags and soundproofing for the automotive industry.
Paper and cardboard
All paper and cardboard is processed via Newport Paper. Paper and cardboard is initially sent to DS Smith in Bristol where it is baled up before being sent on to their paper mill in Kemsley, Kent where the fibres will be pulped and cleaned before being turned into paper or packaging board.
Electrical and electronic appliances are taken to EMR in Gloucester. Metals will be extracted for resale and where possible other materials, such as plastic, will be captured for recycling.
Food waste is taken to Andigestion’s anaerobic digestion plant in Gloucestershire where it is treated.
- At the plant any caddy liners will be removed. The food waste is mixed and pulped to create a thick liquid which is then pasteurised to kill any harmful bacteria;
- As the food waste breaks down it produces biogas (a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide) which is extracted and fed back to the grid;
- Once the gas has been removed a liquid food fertiliser (known as ‘digestate’) remains which can be used on local farmland;
- Digestate is high in valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and other elements required for healthy plant growth and fertile soil.
Garden waste collected from the kerbside is taken to Rose Hill Farm, Dymock or transferred to Wingmoor Farm, near Cheltenham, where it is composted to make a nutrient rich soil improver.
- The green waste is shredded and then turned at regular intervals;
- Any contamination is separated from the compost by passing the material over screens;
- The compost is high in valuable nutrients required for fertile soil and is used on local farms;
- Bags of soil improver are available to purchase from the Household Recycling Centres for a small charge (currently £3.50 for a 40ltr bag).
Foil is collected locally by Taurus Crafts (part of the Camphill Village Trust) in Lydney. The trust offers support for people with learning difficulties. The foil is hand sorted for cleanliness and contamination before being compressed into bales. The bales are then sold locally by Taurus Crafts.
Cartons (such as tetra paks) can be recycled at five sites across the district. The material is then taken to a mill in Halifax where the components are separated before being recycled into board packaging (fibres) and garden furniture (composite plastics). Find out more about the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) and Sonoco Alcore.