Warwick District Council operates a 'kerbside sort’ scheme. This means that all of your recycling is sorted by the collection crew into different compartments on the vehicle when collected. This method of collection ensures a good quality of recyclable materials which are highly sought after by recycling companies.
Once collected and sorted, recycled materials become valuable commodities in the worldwide market.
There are many recycling plants in the UK, reprocessing millions of tonnes of material every year. For example:
- all of the newsprint manufactured here in the UK is now made from 100% recycled paper
- all of the organic (garden and kitchen) waste we collect is recycled in the UK, usually quite close to where it is collected
- over 80% of glass collected is reused in the UK, the majority of it to make new glass bottles and jars.
How is it all recycled?
Paper and cardboard
Paper and cardboard are sent to different recycling plants which is why we ask for them to be separated in your boxes and bags. Paper is recycled back into new newspaper and cardboard is recycled into brown paper to become new cardboard packaging. Both recycling processes are similar. First they are pulped and screened to remove debris such as staples and sticky tape. The pulp is then cleaned and passed through rollers firstly to squeeze out any water and then to dry and flatten the new paper. How paper is recycled - video.
The different colours of glass are separated using lasers. It is then crushed to become glass cullet. Any contaminants such as paper and metal are removed. The cullet is mixed with raw materials and then melted in a furnace. The molten liquid is moulded or blown into new glass bottles and jars. How glass bottles are recycled - video.
Cans, aerosols and foil
Steel and Aluminium are separated using magnets. Aluminium cans are shredded, melted down and made into new cans, foil and food containers. Steel cans are melted and can be made into bikes, cars, bridges, paperclips or even new cans. How cans are recycled - video.
Plastic pots, tubs, trays and bottles
Your plastics are sorted using near infrared sensors which distinguish between the plastics based on the way they reflect light. The plastic is then ground into chips or flakes and any contaminants such as labels and food are removed. It is then melted down and formed into plastic pellets to be recycled into products such as bin liners, plastic bottles, fencing, garden furniture, window frames and more. How plastics are recycled - video.
Textiles are manually sorted and graded according to their condition and type. Reusable textiles are sent to Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. Textiles that are too damaged for reuse are shredded and used as industrial rags.
Did you know? Over 70% of the world's population rely on second hand clothes.
Batteries are broken down into their component parts such as plastics and metals, which are then carefully sorted and recycled into new products.
Water, chemicals and other impurities are extracted from the oil to re-refine it for re-use as new engine oil or as a fuel for industry.
Garden and food waste
Garden and food waste put into your green bin is sent to an 'In-vessel' composting facility. It is shredded and then composted in a tunnel for 2-4 weeks. Temperatures of up to 70 degrees C speed up the process and kill any harmful microbes. It is then left for a further 1-3 months with regular turning and checks to ensure quality, before going on to be used as soil conditioner. How food waste is recycled - video.
There is an ever increasing range of high quality products that are made in the UK from recycled materials. Visit the recycled products website to check out some of the types of recycled products on offer.