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What happens to recycling

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s household recycling, reuse and composting rate was 51.3% in 2020/21 and since 2017 we have exceeded the government’s target of 50% by 2020. We currently divert 86.76% of waste from landfill.

Where it goes

After the recycling bins are emptied at the kerbside, the recycling is tipped at the Nuffield transfer station in Poole. Throughout the week the recycling is then loaded onto articulated lorries so it can be transported to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Here, the recyclable waste is sorted into the separate material streams (e.g., paper, plastics, metals and glass) by a series of conveyer belts, light sensors and other specialised technical equipment as well as some hand sorting. Once the material is baled it is sent to reprocessors who recycle it into new products.

Our contract to sort and process recycling is with Viridor Waste Management, and they only work with Environment Agency accredited and licensed facilities.

Where recycling goes and what happens to it

MaterialWhere it goesWhat happens to it
Glass bottles and jars  UK  Used to make glass bottles and jars or as a replacement for sand in construction 
Aliminium  UK and EU Recycled into cans and food packaging or used in engineering, architecture and the manufacture of car parts 
Paper UK, EU, China, India and South East Asia Used for paper and packaging 
Cardboard  UK, EU, China, India and South East Asia  Recycled into cardboard and packaging 
Juice and milk cartons  India 

The 3 main materials are separated:

• Paper is used for food packaging 
• Plastic for garden furniture 
• Aluminium for building material

How much is recycled

In 2020/21 over 92% of all material placed into recycling bins was recycled. The remainder was items that could not be recycled such as nappies, food waste and polystyrene. The waste that could not be recycled was sent to an energy from waste facility (6.7%) or landfill (0.8%).