What happens to your recycling?
Below is a summary of where all your recycling ends up after we have collected it from your house or from one of our recycling centres.
We currently collect about 4,200 tonnes a year of food waste. This material is taken to one of four Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants, where the food is broken-down to generate electricity and fertiliser. During the 100-day digestion process methane gas is produced and captured, then used to fuel engines that generate electricity. The energy produced from our own collected food waste is equivalent to providing power for about 525 homes, and the fertiliser produced is sufficient to grow crops on a 350 acre farm.
We currently collect about 6,200 tonnes a year of mixed recycling. Our contractor Biffa Waste services collects the material from us and takes it to their Edmonton Material Recycling Facility (MRF) for sorting. This MRF process separates out the mixed material in to the separate fractions for onward recycling:
Tins, cans, foil and aerosols - they are separated into steel and aluminum and recycled into new steel and aluminum products.
Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays - sorted into the different polymer types and colour and turned into recycled plastic packaging or plastic based products.
Glass bottles and jars – separated out for ether smelting into recycled glass bottles or jars, or used as an aggregate in the construction industry
We currently collect about 7,700 tonnes a year of garden waste. It is taken to a local composting site (mostly KPS at Pease Pottage) where it is shredded into small fragments and formed into large scale windrows (aligned rows which are turned with machinery to accelerate the decomposition process). After about 10 weeks, the end product is graded and used as a soil conditioner and source of nutrients in either landscaping projects or on farmland.
Paper and cardboard
We currently collect about 8,000 tonnes a year of paper and cardboard. The material is collected by our contractor DS Smith and recyled into new cardboard based packaging at the Kemsley Paper Mill (near Sittingbourne, Kent).
Textiles and shoes
Items that are in good condition are reused, otherwise the material is recycled into things like rags or insulation.
We currently collect about 25,400 tonnes a year of refuse, with the majority of this material being sent to the Allington Energy from Waste (EfW) Incinerator near Maidstone in Kent.