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What happens to recycling

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It is important that we all recycle as much as we can, and follow the guidelines of what can and cannot be recycled. Our good recycling saves resources and reduces our impact on the environment, this means we can save money that could be better spent in other areas. We currently divert 87.28% of waste from landfill.

If we reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by just 5% in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area, we would save nearly £200,000.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s household recycling, reuse and composting rate was 47.3% in 2022/23.

Where it goes

Watch Recycle Now's Youtube video about what happens at the recycling centre.

After the recycling bins are emptied, the recycling is tipped at the Nuffield transfer station in Poole. Throughout the week the recycling is then loaded onto lorries so it can be transported to a a separate facility. The waste is then sorted into the separate material streams (such as 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 N+P Group, and they only work with Environment Agency accredited and licensed facilities.

Where recycling goes and what happens to it

Material Where it goes What happens to it
Glass bottles and jars UK Used to make glass bottles and jars or as a replacement for sand in construction
Aluminium and steel cans 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
Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays UK and EU Used in the production of plastic bottles or food packaging, clothing, toys and garden furniture
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 2022/23, over 88.26% 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 or landfill (11.74%).

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