coast

Recycling on the seafront

New bins

As part of our 2021 summer readiness plan for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, 400 general waste triple sized bins have been placed across the seafront, parks and other busy open spaces to provide increased capacity this summer.

Contamination of recycling bins

If you've visited our coastline recently you may have noticed that we have significantly reduced the number of recycling bins on the seafront. 

Why:

Very frequently, recycling bins along the seafront are contaminated and therefore need to be treated as general waste. It only takes a few items to contaminate a whole bin or even an entire vehicle if the contamination is collected. Common contaminating items along the seafront include:

  • dog poo bags 
  • non-recyclable food and drinks packaging 
  • food packaging contaminated with food e.g. chips wrappers, pizza boxes

We ask that you leave only footprints and take your recycling home with you to ensure that it is recycled correctly in your household recycling. Please ensure you check what you can and can't recycle in your household bin. 

There are many other items that can be recycled but not in your bins at home. Check out ideas, tips and places in your local area to help you recycle your waste. 

Recycling bins remain on our Blue Flag beaches: 

  • Alum Chine
  • Durley Chine
  • Fisherman’s Walk
  • Manor Steps
  • Southbourne
  • Sandbanks
  • Shore Road
  • Canford Cliffs
  • Branksome Chine

and Seaside Award beaches:

  • Bournemouth
  • Boscombe
  • Avon
  • Friars Cliff
  • Highcliffe

What happens to your recycling   

Good clean recycling (that hasn't been contaminated) that is collected from the seafront bins is sorted along with BCP’s household recycling and transported to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Kent.

The separated material streams from this sorting facility are sold and processed into new products such as packaging, toys, clothing and even car parts in the UK, Europe, China and Asia.

What happens to your rubbish and contaminated recycling bins

While a lot of the recycling bins collected along the seafront are contaminated, recyclable materials do get a second chance even when collected as rubbish. In order to minimise the volume of waste that needs to be sent to landfill, the general waste bins will be taken away to be processed to remove the recyclable and compostable content. 

The waste we collect from seafront litter bins and contaminated recycling bins is processed to separate out recyclable materials at a Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plant in Bournemouth. This helps avoid unnecessary waste being sent to landfill. 

At the plant, metals are removed for recycling, then the waste undergoes further mechanical sorting and biological treatment to create two useful outputs: a compost like material, which is used to restore contaminated land and refuse derived fuel (RDF), which is used to fuel energy from waste facilities to produce electricity and thermal energy.