Mixed Recycling

Where does our Mixed Recycling go?

Our mixed recycling is taken to a facility in East London. Click here to view a short video all about it.

Why are there so many different types of collection across councils?

Different councils have different systems, and accept or tolerate certain materials because nearby waste facilities have the technology to separate them out; either as a recyclate for further reprocessing or as contaminants for incineration or disposal (if the waste operator has no suitable third party outlet). This technological capability together with the nature of third party reprocessor contracts is key to what determines what and how your council collects your waste. It varies because the waste operator sorting facilities vary throughout the country and it depends on what is in proximity to your area.

Our recycling goes to a mixed recycling facility that enables us to put all our recyclables in the same container where they will then be sorted into different plastics and paper grades for reprocessing.

Once processed, as with most of the country’s recycling, the vast majority of baled material is sent for further reprocessing in other countries. In the past, China was the primary end destination however, last summer the Chinese government announced it intended to stop the importation of 24 kinds of solid waste by the end of the year, including plastic drinks bottles and containers, and all mixed paper, in a campaign against yang laji or “foreign garbage”.

This means that our recycling will need to start meeting higher standards with less contamination in order to help the UK waste industry adjust to this enormous change and meet the appropriate quality standards. Therefore, how you recycle now matters, helping ensure material is processed for recycling by producing quality recycling with minimal contamination.

University of Greenwich Sustainability Blog